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ALICE Families: Working hard, but hardly getting by

Four smiling children
Courtesy of Rio Annsa
The kids in the Annsa family range in age from 15 to 5 years old. Mom Rio Annsa says as an ALICE household, they often have to make hard choices between expenses such as clothes and haircuts or doing something fun as a family, like going to the movies.

Working poor: it’s an antiquated term and it’s packed with judgement, but for many people it accurately reflects the reality of their circumstances. They are individuals and often members of families who work, and work hard, but always seem to be living on the edge of stability.

A more accurate term for their circumstances is called ALICE. ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

Here in Lane County, 47% of all families qualify under this term.

Today on Oregon On The Record, you’ll hear from the United Way of lane County about ALICE families and what they and other leaders are trying to do about this situation that places so many people at risk. And you’ll also hear from KLCC's, Tiffany Eckert, whose been reporting on this situation for a while, and will bring you a conversation with Rio Annsa, who’s had to live this life for far too long.

Lane County ALICE Report

Michael Dunne is the host of KLCC's public affairs show Oregon On The Record. He also hosts the business-focused podcast, Oregon Rainmakers. Do you have a suggestion for a guest or topic? Email Michael at mdunne@klcc.org.