Before the first United Way ALICE report, ALICE was a population and a community issue without a name or face. The release of this study offered a new way to accurately quantify these households and to talk about the challenges that they face, just like Richelle of Long Island.
Richelle, a wife and mother of three was struggling to pay her bills on time and keep the house warm during the frigid winter months. She and her husband had both fallen on hard times, severely impacting their income and ability to keep up with household expenses. Despite Richelle and her husband both working full-time jobs, the family was still having trouble making ends meet.
In an attempt to save money but stay warm, Richelle would alternate between boiling water on the stove, cooking in the oven or baking to try and heat the house. Ultimately, Richelle realized her family needed assistance if they were to make it through the season safely. Richelle reached out to United Way of Long Island and was connected to the resources they needed to catch up on their bills and heat their house.
"Never in a million years did I think the rug would just be pulled out from underneath us," Richelle remarked. "Despite being a family with two parents who work full time, we were struggling. United Way of Long Island gave us a chance to use our funds to relieve other expenses, and the peace of mind knowing we don't have to worry about freezing in our own home."
United Way alone cannot change community conditions for ALICE. We hope you share our concern for this growing segment of the population, whose everyday struggles reach beyond personal trials to impact the wider community. We all have a vested interest in improving conditions for ALICE - and we all have a part to play in the solution.