ALICE

United Way ALICE Report
Study of financial hardship

United Way ALICE® Project

ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The United Way term represents the growing number of hardworking individuals and families across Idaho, the Pacific Northwest and the nation who are working but unable to afford the basic household necessities, including housing, child care, health care, food and transportation. Released in January 2016, the United Way ALICE Report – Pacific Northwest, 2016 presents publicly available data in a comprehensive way to illustrate the true scope of financial need in our communities. All seven United Ways in Idaho, as well as United Ways across Oregon and Washington, took part in the ALICE Report.

- See more at: https://www.unitedwaytv.org/work/alice-report/#sthash.hJU7xOF4.dpuf

United Way ALICE® Project

ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The United Way term represents the growing number of hardworking individuals and families across Idaho, the Pacific Northwest and the nation who are working but unable to afford the basic household necessities, including housing, child care, health care, food and transportation. Released in January 2016, the United Way ALICE Report – Pacific Northwest, 2016 presents publicly available data in a comprehensive way to illustrate the true scope of financial need in our communities. All seven United Ways in Idaho, as well as United Ways across Oregon and Washington, took part in the ALICE Report.

- See more at: https://www.unitedwaytv.org/work/alice-report/#sthash.hJU7xOF4.dpuf

United Way ALICE® Project

ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The United Way term represents the growing number of hardworking individuals and families across Idaho, the Pacific Northwest and the nation who are working but unable to afford the basic household necessities, including housing, child care, health care, food and transportation. Released in January 2016, the United Way ALICE Report – Pacific Northwest, 2016 presents publicly available data in a comprehensive way to illustrate the true scope of financial need in our communities. All seven United Ways in Idaho, as well as United Ways across Oregon and Washington, took part in the ALICE Report.

- See more at: https://www.unitedwaytv.org/work/alice-report/#sthash.hJU7xOF4.dpuf

UNITED WAY ALICE PROJECT

ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The United Way term represents the growing number of hardworking individuals and families across Louisiana and the nation who are working but unable to afford the basic household necessities, including housing, child care, health care, food and transportation. Released in January 2016, the United Way ALICE Report – Louisiana, presents publicly available data in a comprehensive way to illustrate the true scope of financial need in our communities. Eleven United Ways in Louisiana took part in the ALICE Report.

Read the Regional Report  |  Read the Full Report

 

OVERVIEW

Do You Know ALICE?

Who is ALICE?

Who is Struggling?

Why are There So Many ALICE  Households in Louisiana?

Louisiana At-A-Glance

Southeast Louisiana At-A-Glance and Interactive Map

Funders and Partners

What is United Way of Southeast Louisiana Doing to Help?

News

 

DO YOU KNOW ALICE?

Of course you do. ALICE is everywhere. From Amite to Arabi, Belle Chasse to Bogalusa, Mandeville to Marrero, the east bank to the west bank of New Orleans - ALICE lives in the wonderful mosaic of communities that make up Southeast Louisiana. ALICE represents community members working in jobs that are needed, but don’t always pay enough to afford the basics, such as our child care teachers, home health aides, mechanics, store clerks, office assistants and more.  ALICE is men and women of all ages and races. ALICE is your customers, constituents, neighbors - even family members and friends. ALICE is the ‘working poor’.

United Way of Southeast Louisiana, in conjunction with the Louisiana Association of United Ways, has published the groundbreaking new study of financial hardship in our state. The United Way ALICE Report for Louisiana reveals 695,719 households - 40 percent of the state’s total - are ALICE. More than 208,000 of ALICE households live in southeast Louisiana.

The United Way ALICE Report employs a Household Survival Budget (HSB), incorporating household costs such as housing, food, child care, transportation, healthcare and taxes establishing a threshold for ALICE to survive. The average HSB for ALICE households in our seven-parish region estimates $19,248 is needed for individuals and $48,492 for a 2 parent/1 preschooler/1 infant family to afford the bare minimum.  While this exceeds the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) of $11,490 for a single adult and $23,550 for a family of four, ALICE can barely live paycheck to paycheck.

Our goals are to give ALICE a voice, leverage the hard work of United Way and other nonprofits, and make it clear more needs to be done to help ALICE and those living in poverty so we can build a better, stronger Louisiana. We believe the United Way ALICE Report for Louisiana can equip communities with information to create innovative solutions.

+back to top

 

WHO IS ALICE?

With the cost of living higher than what most wages pay, ALICE families work hard and earn above the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford a basic household budget of housing, child care, food, transportation, and health care. ALICE households live in every parish in Louisiana – urban, suburban, and rural. They include women and men, young and old, of all races and ethnicities.

In Louisiana, 695,719 households – fully 40 percent – struggled to afford basic household necessities in 2013. 208,398 households were in Southeast Louisiana.

+back to top

 

WHO IS STRUGGLING?

While the Federal Poverty Level reports that only 19% (327,037 Households) of Louisiana households face financial hardship, an additional 21% (368,682 households) qualify as ALICE. In Southeast Louisiana 42% of the population is ALICE.

 

+back to top

 

 

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY ALICE HOUSEHOLDS IN LOUISIANA?

Low wage jobs dominate the local economy: More than 70 percent of jobs in Louisiana pay less than $20 per hour, with most paying less than $15 per hour ($15 per hour full time = $30,000/year). These jobs – especially service jobs that pay below $20 per hour and require only a high school education or less – will grow far faster than higher-wage jobs over the next decade.

The basic cost of living outpaces wages: The cost of basic household expenses in Louisiana is more than most of the region’s jobs can support [Economic Viability Dashboard]. The average annual Household Survival Budget for a Louisiana family of four (two adults with one infant and one preschooler) is $42,444 – nearly double the U.S. family poverty level of $23,550.

Jobs are not located near housing that is affordable: After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and through the Great Recession from 2007 to 2010, housing affordability fell by one-third, and job opportunities fell 9 percent. Conditions did not improve from 2010 to 2013, so it remains difficult for ALICE households to find both housing affordability and job opportunities in many parishes in Louisiana.

Public and private assistance helps, but doesn’t achieve financial stability: Assistance provides essential support for households below the ALICE Threshold but cannot lift all households to economic stability. Government, nonprofit, and health care organizations spend $10 billion on services for ALICE and poverty-level households in Louisiana to supplement their income, but even that total is still 14 percent short of lifting all households above the ALICE Threshold.

Consequences: When ALICE households cannot make ends meet, they are forced to make difficult choices such as forgoing health care, accredited child care, healthy food, or car insurance. These “savings” threaten their health, safety, and future – and they reduce productivity and raise insurance premiums and taxes for everyone. The costs are high for both ALICE families and the wider community.

Effective change: While short-term strategies can make conditions less severe, only structural economic changes will significantly improve the prospects for ALICE and enable hardworking households to support themselves. Strengthening the Louisiana economy and meeting ALICE’s challenges are linked: Improvement for one would directly benefit the other. The ALICE tools can help policymakers, community leaders, and business leaders to better understand the magnitude and variety of households facing financial hardship, and to create more effective change.

+back to top

 

 

LOUISIANA AT-A-GLANCE

Stability vs. Survival Budget

Households Below the ALICE Threshold, Largest Cities and Towns in Louisiana

Consequences of Households Living below the ALICE Threshold in Louisiana

Household Income by Age

Occupations by Employment and Wage

Households by Race/Ethnicity and Income

 

+back to top

 

 

SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA AT-A-GLANCE

ALICE lives across Louisiana in every parish. ALICE families live in rural, urban, and suburban areas. See how ALICE looks in our seven parish service area: 

Jefferson  |  Orleans  |  Plaquemines  |  St. Bernard  |  St. Tammany  |  Tangipahoa  |  Washington

 

Percent of Households Below the ALICE Threshold by Parish in Louisiana

  • 31-40%
  • 41-50%
  • 51-60%

+back to top

 

 

 

FUNDERS AND PARTNERS

National ALICE Advisory Council
The United Way ALICE Project is partially funded and supported by the National ALICE Advisory Council, a body of corporate and national organizations convened to elevate ALICE’s voice to a national level. The Council is a forum for sharing experiences, developing best practices, and building innovative impact strategies to stabilize ALICE households and our broader economy. Current members include: AT&T | Atlantic Health System | Deloitte | Entergy | Johnson & Johnson | Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation | UPS

Louisiana Friends of ALICE
The Louisiana Association of United Ways is grateful for the support of corporate partners who are committed to the success of this project and helping bring the message of ALICE to the state of Louisiana. Current Louisiana Friends of ALICE include: JPMorgan Chase & Co.

 

+back to top

 

 

WHAT IS UNITED WAY OF SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA DOING TO HELP?

We fund 113 programs that help children, adults and families thrive.

Residents in Southeast Louisiana have saved more than $2.8 million on prescription medications through United Way’s partnership with FamilyWize.

We collaborate with business, government and community groups to identify and advocate for solutions to address underlying issues that negatively impact ALICE families.

We advocate for legislative issues that impact ALICE households: affordable, quality early care and education, access to free tax preparation and financial education programs, and access to affordable health care coverage.

We've put our stake in the ground. We want businesses and individuals to join us in developing strategies and partnerships to educate and empower people to help lift them out of poverty.

 

+back to top

 

NEWS

Hard times for Louisiana's working families, report says
NOLA.com
Up to 40 percent of families in Louisiana are unable to balance the costs of necessities against the wages they earn at work, according to a report released Wednesday (Jan. 27). The costs of food, health care, taxes and housing are all proving ...

United Way report shows 44% of Northwest Louisiana struggling to make ends meet
KTAL
United Ways throughout Louisiana have come together to give an identity and voice to people who work hard yet still struggle to make ends meet – people we call ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE lives in every parish in ...

United Way of NELA Releases "ALICE Report"
MyArkLaMiss
MONROE, La. Meet Alice. She's a 20-something single mom and coffee barista in Lafayette. But Alice represents a ...

The Struggle is Real
The INDsider
I know ALICE. So do you. In fact, I'm checking the income brackets to see if I am her. There's a good chance you are — 40 percent of the state falls into this category or below. ALICE is the one who makes too much for financial assistance, but clearly ...

Study on working poor released
KTAL
Forty percent of the households in Louisiana are unable to afford basic cost of living expenses ...

ALICE: Breaking down the findings
American Press ‎
A recent report says 47 percent of households in Lake Charles live in poverty or just above the poverty level, but can barely afford everyday expenses like housing, food and transportation. The report, by the Louisiana Association of United Ways ...

United Way Releases New "ALICE" Report
KATC Lafayette News
The United Way released a report Wednesday that shows financial hardships facing so many Louisiana families. The "ALICE" report, which stands for "Asset limited, Income Constrained, and Employed," shows that 40 percent of Louisiana families struggle to ...

New report shows huge number of working poor in Louisiana
WGNO
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A report releases today by The United Way uses the term ALICE, or Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed the United Way of Southeast Louisiana shows 40% of Louisiana households are considered working poor and are ...

Report: Majority of Louisiana families struggle financially
Alexandria Town Talk
Louisiana is facing an economic downturn unique to its oil and gas-reliant economy, but its ranking among the nation's poorest isn't new. There's a likely chance you are among the 40 percent of the state's working households who struggle daily with ...

United Way study reveals problem of working poor in Louisiana
KALB News (press release) ‎
Alexandria, La. (KALB) They called them "ALICE" -- "asset limited, income constrained and employed." They're people you see everyday -- cashiers, mechanics, waiters and even nurses. News Channel Five's Diamond Davies tells us The United Way is ...

New report says 40% of La. households struggle to afford basic necessities
KLFY
A report that focuses on people who work but still live near the poverty line states almost half the households in the Louisiana are unable to afford basic cost of living. The Louisiana Association of United Ways (LAUW) stated its United Way ALICE ...

United Way: 40% of Louisiana households in poverty or struggling to make ends meet
WWL First News
40 percent of households in Louisiana are considered in poverty and struggle to afford day-to-day needs, according to a new report by the Louisiana Association of United Ways. President and CEO Sarah Berthelot says these more than 695,000 homes in the ...

'ALICE' report sobers, disturbs, illuminates
The INDsider
A new report by the Louisiana Association of United Ways paints a stark portrait of the economic insecurity in which millions in Louisiana live. The ALICE report — that's an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed — finds that nearly ...

Guest Editorial: The ALICE Report
KSLA-TV
The United Way of Northwest Louisiana, along with 11 other United Ways from across the state, are excited to release the ALICE Report. Louisiana is just one of ten states in the country to produce such a study. ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited ...

Thousands in NELA barely make ends meet
Monroe News Star
Ashley Duran is one of the many "ALICE" residents living in Louisiana, working minimum wage and struggling to survive pay check to pay check. Duran, a coffee barista living in Lafayette, is a single mother with a 5-year-old son, making tough decisions ...

Report says nearly half of La. residents struggle to make ends meet
WBRZ
BATON ROUGE - A new report from the United Way says nearly half of the people living in Baton Rouge, along with 40 percent of homes in Louisiana, are hovering in an area where they're not quite in abject poverty but not quite able to keep their heads ...

Struggling to survive
Shreveport Times
It's Tuesday. Janay Hall wakes up, gets her kids ready for school and then walks the four blocks to Burger King, where she works an average of 25 to 30 hours a week— as many as management will give her, she said. At night, Hall wonders how she will ...

United Way ALICE Report for Louisiana Released Today
News Radio 710 KEEL
Today, the United Way of Northwest Louisiana is launching the ALICE report that places a spotlight on a large population of hardworking residents who are struggling to make ends meet, have little or no savings, and are one emergency away from falling ...

United Way project takes look at struggling households
American Press
Forty percent of 111,791 households in Southwest Louisiana's five-parish area are either living in poverty, or just above the poverty level but struggling to make ends meet, according to a report from the Louisiana Association of United Ways. Released ...

Report: 40 percent of state's families can't afford basic costs
The Advocate
Forty percent of Louisiana's families can't afford the basic cost of living, according to a new report from the Louisiana Association of United Ways. The Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed Report, known as ALICE, places a spotlight on a large ...

Ground-breaking study reveals scope of hardship in Louisiana
Shreveport Times
A groundbreaking study from the United Way reveals 40 percent of Louisiana households struggle to afford basics. The comprehensive report was released today. According to the report, more than 695,000 households in the state — nicknamed ALICE ...

Report: Nearly half of New Orleans families aren't meeting basic needs
The Advocate
Almost half of New Orleans families don't earn enough to meet their basic needs. That's a finding of a report due out Wednesday from the Louisiana Association of United Ways. Though other United Way affiliates have released similar statewide reports ...

Meet ALICE: Working poor a large part of 40 percent of Louisiana households struggling, reports says
The Advocate
Forty percent of households in Louisiana are in poverty or fall into a class of the working poor who barely scrape by, struggling to afford day-to-day necessities, according to a new report from the Louisiana Association of United Ways. The report is ...

Many Louisiana — and Acadiana region — households struggling, report finds
The Advocate‎
Forty percent of Louisiana households don't earn enough to make ends meet, and many of them include people who hold jobs and work 40 hours or more a week, including in Acadiana, according to a report released this week. They're called the working ...

Across Louisiana, hard-working families can't afford life's basics: Editorial
The Editorial Board, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Louisiana's high poverty rate is well documented, but what we don't see as clearly is how many people live just above that threshold and struggle to make ends meet on their meager paychecks. Doctors who treat patients without health insurance...

 

+back to top