Who is ALICE?

Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed

ACROSS MICHIGAN, 38 PERCENT OF HOUSEHOLDS STRUGGLE TO AFFORD THE BASIC NECESSITIES OF HOUSING, CHILD CARE, FOOD, TECHNOLOGY, HEALTH CARE AND TRANSPORTATION.

Many families across Ionia and Montcalm Counties are struggling to make ends meet.
Can you balance money and stress for 30 days?

Take the challenge.

Acepta el desafío.

That's why United Ways across Michigan, with help from the Consumers Energy Foundation, have come together to bring you the ALICE Project. 

The ALICE Report is the most comprehensive depiction of need in Michigan to date. In the seven years since the Michigan Association of United Ways has released its first ALICE Report, Michigan residents have started to get a clearer picture of their neighbors, loved ones, friends, and acquaintances than ever before.

This Report provides new data and tools that explain the persistent level of hardship faced by ALICE households, revealing aspects of the Michigan economy not tracked by traditional measures. Three critical trends help us understand why the pandemic is hitting so hard for so many:

  • The cost of living has been increasing for ALICE households.
  • The economy is increasingly dominated by jobs with low wages and less security.
  • The number of ALICE households in Michigan increased in response to the Great Recession and never fully recovered.

THE UNITED WAY ALICE REPORT REVEALS THE FINANCIAL HARDSHIPS OF MANY MICHIGAN HOUSEHOLDS.

Moving towards equity infographic

Closing the Gap: Moving ALICE Toward Financial Stability

Households Below the ALICE Threshold


 

  • Have little or no savings or assets for the future or an emergency
  • Are more likely to live in unsafe conditions and have poor health
  • Can't afford basic necessities where they live

 

Largest number are in biggest demographic groups (working-age; White, non-Hispanic; single or cohabiting households)

 

Yet some groups are disproportionately represented (Black, Hispanic, Native American, senior, single-parent families)

 

 

Factors that Close the Gap

Orange arrow

  • Reliable transportation
  • Livable wage/basic income
  • Efficient financial tools
  • Quality, affordable health care
  • Affordable child care for working families
  • Affordable housing and access to healthy food

Factors that Widen the Gap

Red arrow

  • High-priced education and student debt
  • Child care deserts
  • Regressive tax systems
  • Predatory lending with high interest rates
  • Increased risk for workers - hourly work, fewer benefits, multiple jobs
  • Racial/ethnic and socioeconomic segregation in housing and in K-12 education
  • Discrimination and institutionalized racism, especially in housing, health care, education

Financially Stable Households...


 

Have wages that cover the basics

 

Can save and invest in their future and build generational wealth

 

Can afford to live in safe, prosperous neighborhoods

 

Can afford quality child care, education, and health care

 

Are better able to give back and engage in their communities