ALICE, represents the growing number of individuals and families who are working, but are unable to afford the basic necessities of housing, foo, child care, health care, and transportation.
Through a series of new, standardized measurements, United Way Montcalm-Ionia Counties, in conjunction with the Michigan Association of United Ways and through the work of research partner Rutgers University, is quantifying the size of the workforce that is struggling financially county by county, and the reasons why. These measurements provide a broader picture of financial insecurity than traditional federal poverty guidelines.
Why ALICE Matters
ALICE workers are essential to the fabric of our society. ALICE works in jobs that are integral to our communities, from child care educators and home health aides to mechanics – all workers we rely on every day.
The future success of our communities is directly tied to the financial stability of ALICE households. When ALICE suffers and is forced to make difficult choices, we all face serious consequences.
ALICE: A Grassroots Movement
Building on a project first initiated in 2009 at United Way of Northern New Jersey, United Ways in five other states – California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana and Michigan – have joined the United Way ALICE Project. Together, these states represent more than one-quarter of the country’s population.
This grassroots movement hopes to stimulate a fresh, nonpartisan, national dialogue about the importance and fragility of this segment of the population. United Ways involved also plan to use the Reports as the framework for their work in improving their residents’ lives and strengthening their communities.