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The ALICE Report Starts Conversations About The Hidden Poor

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A growing number of Lane County individuals and families who work --are still unable to afford the basic necessities to live. A United Way study called the “ALICE Report” has just been released and it is starting conversations about our region’s hidden poor.

ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The acronym is being used to describe four in ten households in Lane County and even more in other parts of Oregon. When a person or family earns more than the Federal Poverty Level but struggles to afford basic needs, they are living on the ALICE threshold.

Elena Fracchia is Director of Income and Investments for United Way of Lane County. She expects ALICE will stimulate public and private sectors to re-think how they assess need.

Fracchia: “From the early stages of sharing this with some of our stakeholders, what I’m seeing is people they lean back in their chair and they say ‘Wow, this is big. This is more people than we thought.’ But then almost immediately we see people then lean into the table and say ‘We have to do something.”

The Alice Threshold was assessed to be $54,000 for a family of four. The study considers basic needs of housing, childcare, food, healthcare and transportation. Fracchia says often in these households, something has to give.

For more information: http://unitedwaylane.org/what-we-do/strategic-priorities/income/alice/

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