At the United Way of Southeastern Idaho our, “WHY”, starts with ALICE. We all know ALICE- Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed – earning above the Federal Poverty Level yet struggling to afford basic expenses. Despite working hard as our nation’s childcare educators, home health aides, and cashiers, ALCIE lives paycheck to paycheck and is one emergency way from falling into financial ruin.
For a growing number of U.S. households, financial stability is nothing more than a pipe dream, no matter how hard their members work. These households are ...
ALICE may be your relative, friend, colleague, or neighbor, or you might be ALICE. ALICE may also be your health care provider, teacher, retail clerk, sanitation worker, and others. ALICE workers are the backbone of our economy, with the pandemic making it crystal clear just how much we need them.
Span all races, ages, ethnicities, and abilities, though households of color are disproportionately ALICE
Include workers whose wages cannot keep up with the rising cost of goods and services
Often include those who are working two or more jobs and still cannot pay their bills
Include family members who need care and assistance, which makes it harder for their caregivers to find adequate work
Live paycheck to paycheck and are forced to make impossible choices: pay the rent or buy food, receive medical care or pay for child care, pay utility bills or put gas in the car
Are part of every community nationwide
“I experienced something I had never imagined. After being released from the Portneuf Medical Center Behavioral Unit in Pocatello, I found myself and my son homeless and jobless, this was a stark and frightening reality. The kind nursing staff at the hospital recommended that I stay at the Aid for Friends Emergency Shelter.
It was hard to walk through those doors but once I did, I felt immediate relief. The facility was clean, new, and secure. The staff at AFF helped me to develop a plan. Through that plan I was able to secure employment and applied for housing assistance. I utilized the shelter services for about two months. Aid For Friends provided basic furnishings for my apartment. Aid For Friends provided me the tools to get my life back on track…I have never asked for help before in my lifetime, I am very grateful it was there when I needed it. I will always be grateful.”
”When we moved to Bingham County seven years ago, we were raising our 3 grandchildren and we came to SEICAA on numerous occasions to help us make ends meet for food, utility assistance, and help with gas to allow us to get to medical appointments for my hand and my wife’s disability.
We only have social security income and that makes it impossible to accomplish the basics, let alone raise grandkids. On Thanksgiving we received a box from SEICAA which allowed us to have a nice family dinner. It meant a lot to my wife and I to be able to do that for our grandkids. During the last 3 years, with Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency’s (SEICAA’s), assistance we have been making it through these difficult surgeries and health issues. We are now down to 1 grandchild as the other 2 have graduated. All of this is the success story of our lives. We are in a better place today. Praise God and SEICAA for their help we could not have done it without help.”
What happens when cash-strapped ALICE households are forced to make impossible choices such as deciding between a car repair and quality childcare, heat, or a prescription? These short-term decisions have long-term consequences not only for ALICE, but for all of us.
The recently released ALICE report, which provides a comprehensive, unbiased picture of and the first look at the extent of financial hardship through 2021 in Idaho using ALICE metrics since the COVID-19 pandemic began indicates that:
43% of Idahoans are unable to afford the basics. Despite the increases we’ve seen to wages in the last 2 years, the faster and ever-growing costs in goods and services further widens the gap between a survival and stability budget for ALICE families.
Disproportionally, 80% of ALICE households in southeastern Idaho are single female households, compared to 25% for married households
The report also reveals that between 2019 and 2021 the survival budget increased by an average of 15%……
A two adult with two children (one infant and a toddler in preschool) increased by 12.3% from $54,096 in 2019 to $60,744 in 2021
While a two senior household realized the largest increase of nearly 30% from $37,776 in 2019 to $48,156 in 2021
Join us in Empowering ALICE Families for a Brighter Future
As advocates for ALICE and poverty-level families, we know financial insecurity can be devastating and include poor health, education, and employment outcomes. However, there is hope…because the problems facing ALICE families are interconnected—effective solutions must be, too. And that’s why we’re all in this room today, because we are curious and care deeply about the barriers facing ALICE families and are continually committed to building solutions together that are right for our neighbors, towns, cities, counties, and states and Ultimately, we know if ALICE households can become financially stable, our economy will be stronger and communities more vibrant, improving life not just for ALICE but for everyone.
Your support can make a real difference. Whether it's contributing your time, resources, or expertise, together we can provide essential assistance and opportunities to A.L.I.C.E. families in need. Act now and be a catalyst for positive change. Every small effort counts – let's build a stronger, more inclusive community for all.