In 2014, Connecticut United Ways produced their first ALICE report. This was a comprehensive and eye-opening study of families struggling to make ends meet, thus “ALICE” (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed). At that time, the report noted that 35 percent of the state’s population was either living in poverty or deemed ALICE. That was then. Today, a full 40 percent of state households now fit this description.
Connecticut has one of the highest per capita incomes in the nation. How can such a large portion of our neighbors be experiencing financial hardship?
Based on this research Connecticut United Ways have made a number of policy recommendations to help address the growing trend of too few household resources. These include financial and workplace education, workforce development, basic-needs supports (such as HUSKY healthcare), better access to health and human services, and more affordable housing.
The report also points out that education for kids is a significant way to put children in today’s ALICE households on a path to greater financial security for themselves. Recommendations include more funding for early education and child-care, more work scheduling flexibility for parents, and programs that help children meet important developmental milestones.
Want to know more about who’s struggling in our state and why? Want to learn more about recommendations to address this growing problem? Or, if you’re really brave, check out what it’s like to live on an ALICE budget. It’s all at the CT United Ways website.