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Media • In The News

The Buzz on ALICE

United For ALICE is sparking a fresh, nonpartisan dialogue across the country about these struggling families that live paycheck to paycheck. Media outlets across the country – from newspapers and online sites, to television and radio –are taking notice, infusing ALICE into the conversation around financial hardship.

Explore the highlights below of ALICE media coverage throughout the United States. If you are a reporter interested in learning more about United For ALICE, please contact Laura Bruno at 973.993.1160, x126, or Christine Aromando at 973.993.1160, x109.

Wall Street Journal: The calls for help coming from above the poverty line

"The share of households below the census-designated federal poverty line has barely budged since 2010. Meanwhile, poverty researchers say a large and fast-growing group of people are earning too much to qualify for social services and not enough to afford the basics where they live…United Way calls this population ALICE, or Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed."

CBS News: Americans turn to 211 helpline amid mounting economic hardships

"What I focused on for my story is the population of people who are calling in increasing and very large numbers who live above the federal poverty line but under what they call this ALICE line, or Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. And these are people who are working but still unable to pay their rent and their car payment and everything else and still have anything left over at the end of the month."

Fast Company: Why more middle-class Americans are defining themselves as working class

"'A lot of jobs we think of as middle class are below ALICE thresholds,' Hoopes says. That includes teaching assistants, healthcare support staff in hospitals and doctors’ offices, adjunct professors, members of the media, and even government workers, she says…Even people with advanced degrees can be below financial household survival budgets, she says. 'Education level doesn’t preclude you from being in this tough situation.'"

Washington Post: Students loved this teaching assistant. They didn't know he was living in his car.

"An ALICE report for Florida from 2018 noted that in the previous two years, while the number of families experiencing poverty dropped, the number of families living above the poverty line but below the ALICE threshold had increased, including in Peacock's Volusia County. The bare minimum for a single adult to survive in Florida is $24,600 a year — the amount Peacock was able to scrape together with his hectic schedule."

Stateline: Despite pandemic pay boost, low-wage workers still can't afford basic needs

"Despite the recent gains, low-wage workers have faced stagnant wages for decades. Their costs for basics such as housing and health care have risen even faster than inflation, according to a report from United For ALICE, a project led by the United Way of Northern New Jersey. The effects are significant: The typical retail sales worker, the most common job in the country, lost $26,000 in buying power between 2007 and 2022, according to the report."

Daily Journal: OUR OPINION: Use United Way ALICE report to invest in Mississippi's working poor

"The United Way report is a truly eye-opening piece of work...Perhaps lawmakers should start by reading the report and asking the United Way to come to the table to help solve some of these issues. The statistics do not care about politics. They reflect real people. And that is what this is all about — helping the people of Mississippi."

Michigan Public Radio – All Things Considered: State Poverty Task Force Member Says COVID-19 Showed How Inadequate The Social Safety Net Is

"Forty-three percent of Michigan households struggle to afford necessities like housing, childcare, food, and health care. That's according to the United Way's 2017 ‘Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed,' or ALICE Report."

Salon: Even Biden's $1.9 trillion isn't nearly enough pandemic relief

"ALICE indicates that to meet basic needs a family of four in most urban areas needs about $1,200 per week—more than $62,000 per year. That's not much less than the median household income these days of about $68,000."

Houston Chronicle: Avenue breaks ground on affordable apartments in Oak Forest

"Lawler said the United Way of Greater Houston's ALICE report found nearly 25 percent of the nearly 11,000 households in Oak Forest's 77018 ZIP code struggle to make ends meet."

Star-Ledger: Our First Lady and the United Way: Working parents need quality, affordable child care

"Accessing safe, quality care was daunting before, but the pandemic is pushing the industry and low-wage families considered ALICE into financial collapse. We can no longer shrug our shoulders and say this is a problem working parents have to figure out on their own."

ABC News: Nonprofits struggle with challenges of rising hunger, COVID-19 restrictions during holidays

"Rosie Allen-Herring, the president and CEO of the United Way of the National Capital Area, told ABC News that the biggest problem facing nonprofits is the increase of so-called ALICE households, which are ‘Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.' ‘These are individuals who go into work every day, but they need these [food] services to get by,' she told ABC News."

Associated Press: Single Moms in Maryland Strive to Overcome Challenges

"They are questions that many single mothers, like Smith, ask here in Frederick County and abroad. Almost 80 percent of single moms in the county have a difficult time affording a basic standard of living, according to the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) report published last month by the United Way of Frederick County."

Hawai‘i Magazine: Joining Hands and Scaling Up to Feed Hawai‘i's Food-Insecure

"The Aloha United Way's ALICE Report for 2018 (ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) estimated that 42% of Hawai‘i families were employed but didn't earn enough to meet basic necessities, putting them a paycheck or two away from disaster."

Miami Herald: Coronavirus live updates: Here's what to know in South Florida on August 5

"'With five out of 10 households (54%) in Miami-Dade County living in, or one emergency away from, poverty, the pandemic has exacerbated an already difficult situation for ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) individuals and families,' the mayor's office said."

Brookings: Low unemployment isn't worth much if the jobs barely pay

"There are a variety of indices—the United Way's ALICE threshold, MIT's living wage calculator, the Self-Sufficiency Standard, and EPI's Family Budget Calculator—that show basic costs of living (housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, taxes) frequently outpacing earnings from low-wage jobs, even in families with more than one worker."

CNN Money: Almost half of US families can't afford basics like rent and food

"Nearly 51 million households don't earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone, according to a study released Thursday by the United Way ALICE Project."