ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) are hardworking members of the community who are employed, yet can’t keep up with the rising cost of living.
ALICE families earn above the Federal Poverty Level, yet struggle to cover basic needs, including: housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and necessary technology. Traditional measures of poverty do not capture the magnitude of people who are struggling financially – and that’s where the ALICE Reports step in.
Because U.S. military veterans have served and sacrificed for this country, there is a national sense of responsibility to ensure that their basic needs are met. And overall, veterans have fared better economically than nonveterans. Yet not everyone has been included in that trend: In 2019, more than one-quarter of veterans — 29% — still struggled to make ends meet across Florida.
According to the outdated Federal Poverty Level (FPL), 6% of veterans in Florida lived in poverty in 2019. But United For ALICE data shows that another 23% — nearly four times as many — were also struggling, in households that earned above the FPL but less than what it costs to afford the basics. These households are ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
Longstanding discriminatory policies and practices that impact access to education, employment, health care, housing and other resources create barriers to financial stability for people with disabilities. This fact hits home for the more than 40 million people in the U.S. who have a cognitive, hearing, vision, or ambulatory disability, or one that makes self-care or independent living difficult.
According to the outdated Federal Poverty Level (FPL), 23.5% of people with disabilities in Miami-Dade County lived in poverty in 2019. Yet United For ALICE data shows that another 44% were also struggling, in households that earned above the FPL but less than what it costs to afford the basics. These households are ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
Between families in poverty and those who are ALICE, more than half (nearly 68%) of all people with disabilities in the Miami-Dade County lived in a household with income below the ALICE Threshold, struggling to afford essentials in the communities where they lived.
The number of children growing up in financial hardship in the U.S. is drastically higher than is widely reported. The ALICE in Focus: Children’s report reveals that federal poverty data undercounts how many children are growing up amid insecurity. According to the outdated Federal Poverty Level, 19.6% of children in the U.S. lived in poverty in 2019. Yet United For ALICE data shows that another 43% — more than twice as many — were also growing up in hardship, in households that earned above the poverty level but less than what is costs to afford the basics. These households are ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
The reality is that between families in poverty and those who are ALICE, nearly 63% of children in Miami-Dade County lived in households that couldn’t afford the basics in 2019.
The 2020 United Way ALICE Report:
View and download the ALICE Report.
View and download the FL County Pages
View and download the ALICE in Miami-Dade County
View and download Financial Hardship in Black Households
View and download Race in Florida
It’s easy to be blind to someone’s financial struggle. You grab a cup of coffee at the local café or bakery and don’t know the barista is a college student or single mom holding down two jobs to make ends meet. ALICE families are our neighbors, friends and family members.
The updated United Way ALICE Report is providing a holistic snapshot of financial insecurity at the state, county and municipal level. The population identified in the report as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) are hardworking members of the community who are employed, yet can’t keep up with the rising cost of living.
ALICE in Miami-Dade County
2018 Point-in-Time Data
The Miami-Dade ALICE population has decreased by 3 percent since the last report, which used 2016 data, while poverty dropped 2 percent. The Report shows that 37 percent of Miami-Dade Households are ALICE and an additional 17 percent are in poverty. Overall, nearly five out of 10 households continue to struggle in Miami-Dade.
What is United Way doing to help?
United Way’s approach to helping ALICE families is both short-term and long-term. We recognize the only way to ensure that individuals are empowered to be successful in the future is to make sure they possess the skills and education to be financially resilient.
Short-term solutions to rising food and housing costs are important stopgaps to help families overcome these hurdles and United Way directly and through its investments in community programs provides this assistance. We also recognize that families need to be resilient in the face of economic challenges and that requires both long-term as well as more intensive interventions.
Education is key and quality early education is critical to future success. Services that address financial wellbeing through education, coaching and access to direct services, are also key to long-term financial stability. Some of United Way’s efforts to directly help ALICE families include:
United Way works with local and national partners and other United Ways to advocate at the local, state and federal levels for policies that affect children and families.
United Way Center for Financial Stability provides financial coaching, free tax preparation services, employment assistance, credit counseling and debt management, among other services.
United Way is also partnering with financial institutions and local government through the Bank On Miami initiative to help people access banking products that will help build their financial capability.
Through the FamilyWize partnership, Miami-Dade residents have saved upwards of $16M on prescription medications. Since 2007, more than 190,100 people have benefited from this program.
United Way initiatives empowering ALICE families include: Mission United, our program to assist veterans who are returning home; EDEN Place, resource centers for families at two locations – Overtown Youth Center and Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center; and United Way Youth Institute, a year-long program to empower youth.
United Way Women United launched the Women United For Our Future endowment fund to focus on transforming the lives of women and girls throughout Miami-Dade, providing them with the promise of a healthy future by securing much-needed funding for programs supporting their education, financial stability and health.
Investments in nearly 120 community programs at 63 local nonprofits in the areas of early and school age education, health and financial stability provide a wide range of services designed to empower individuals and families for future success.
United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education is a national model for quality practices in early education. It contains both a demonstration school as well as community programming.
United Way’s Early Head Start Child Care Partnership grant serves 520 children in low-income communities through the provision of high quality services and mentoring at centers and family day care homes throughout Miami-Dade. The goal: ensure all children have access to quality programs, so they can have the best possible start to school and life.
United Way financial stability initiatives empowering ALICE families: UW@WORK with Jackson Health System, powered by Citi Foundation, is an employer-based financial wellness program bringing the Center for Financial Stability work’s to one of the community’s largest employers. Through other grants and private contributions, the Center for Financial Stability focuses on empowering women by providing them with the tools to reduce or eliminate debt and build savings in order to become financially resilient.