United for ALICE®
ALICE, an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, is a new way of defining and understanding the struggles of households that earn above the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford a bare-bones household budget.
For far too many families, the cost of living outpaces what they earn. These households struggle to manage even their most basic needs - housing, food, transportation, child care, health care, and necessary technology.
When funds run short, cash-strapped households are forced to make impossible choices, such as deciding between quality child care or paying the rent, filling a prescription or fixing the car. These short-term decisions have long-term consequences not only for ALICE families, but for all of us.
Who is ALICE?
Despite the critical nature of many jobs to keep our local economies running – educating our youngest children, keeping our ailing parent safe – these workers often struggle to keep their own households from financial ruin.
ALICE is your child care worker, the cashier at your supermarket, the gas attendant, the salesperson at your big box store, your waitress, a home health aide, an office clerk. ALICE cannot always pay the bills, has little or nothing in savings, and is forced to make tough choices such as deciding between quality child care or paying the rent. One unexpected car repair or medical bill can push these financially strapped families over the edge.
ALICE in Virginia
In 2018, eight years after the end of the Great Recession, 39% of Virginia’s 3,169,804 households still struggled to make ends meet. And while 10% of these households were living below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), another 29% — almost three times as many — were ALICE households: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These households earned above the FPL, but not enough to afford basic household necessities.
ALICE IN SAW
We see ALICE every day in the SAW Region. On average 41% of our neighbors live below the ALICE threshold. That equates to 19,910 households who are below the ALICE threshold in Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County combined.
The links below will provide a breakdown of data about the ALICE population specific to Staunton, Augusta County & Waynesboro.
The Profile PDF (not available in SAW Combined) will provide you with information on how many households are considered ALICE and how many are under the Federal Poverty Line. This report goes into detail on ALICE households over time, the different types of households that are ALICE and a summary of the Survival Budget for various household situations.
The Demographics PDF will provide you with information on ALICE households with children and differences in ALICE broken down by age and race/ethnicity.
The Household Budgets PDF will provide you with a breakdown of household budgets for ALICE households and households below the Federal Poverty Line. It also provides a line item expense budget for different types of household situations for both a Survival Budget and a Sustainability Budget.