COVID-19 Pandemic Hits as Record Number of Struggling Families Priced Out of Survival

37 percent of Miami-Dade households considered ALICE; 17 percent live in poverty

United Way of Miami-Dade released its ALICE Report, which identifies 331,230 households, roughly 37 percent of all Miami-Dade households, as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), and another 17 percent as living in poverty. In Miami-Dade, 477,849 households, roughly 54 percent of all households, continue to struggle to make ends meet. A family of four with two small children needs to earn at least $76,692 to cover basic living expenses in Miami-Dade.

ALICE families are hardworking members of the community who are employed, earn more than the Federal Poverty Level, yet struggle to cover: housing, child care, food, transportation, health care and necessary technology that has become a commonplace expectation for employment. These families are vulnerable to financial hardships and continue to face challenges from our high cost of living and now, as a result of the global pandemic, have been exacerbated by reduced work hours, layoffs and furloughs.

When COVID-19 hit, nearly 2.6 million Florida households were one emergency away from financial ruin — a 10-year record high — setting the stage for the unprecedented economic impact of the crisis. Over the last decade, Florida’s low-income families systematically lost buying power and financial stability as the high cost of essentials outpaced wages, driving the number of ALICE households to rise 66 percent by 2018, the report shows.

“The ALICE report continues to shine a light on our community’s families who are employed yet face financial insecurity and are one emergency away from falling into poverty,” said Maria C. Alonso, United Way of Miami-Dade, president and CEO. “The novel coronavirus is that one emergency that has caused ALICE families to face difficult decisions and fall into financial crisis. Beyond the current crisis, our community must work together to provide pathways to prosperity for our working families, addressing both short and long-term issues, and by doing so, positively impacting our community including our economy.”

The updated report uses 2018 point-in-time data to establish a family Household Survival Budget, a bare-bones minimum monthly budget. The report calls for stakeholders across all sectors to use its findings to remove obstacles to financial stability, identify gaps in community resources and build data-driven solutions to help ALICE families achieve economic stability, bolstering the state’s economy overall.

About United Way of Miami-Dade

Since 1924, United Way of Miami-Dade has been an innovative force in the community, successfully responding to emerging needs and transforming people’s lives. Today our work is focused on education, financial stability and health – the building blocks for a good life. We invest in quality programs, advocate for better policies, engage people in the community and generate resources. To learn more, give, advocate or volunteer, visit,, or instagram/UnitedWayMiami.

About United For ALICE

United For ALICE is a driver of innovation, shining a light on the challenges ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households face and finding collaborative solutions. Through a standardized methodology that assesses the cost of living in every county, this project provides a comprehensive measure of financial hardship across the U.S. Equipped with this data, ALICE partners convene, advocate, and innovate in their local communities to highlight the issues faced by ALICE households and to generate solutions that promote financial stability. The grassroots movement represents United Ways, corporations, nonprofits and foundations in Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin; we are United For ALICE. For more information, visit:


2020-05-04T12:55:10-05:00 May 4th, 2020|