ALICE is your brother.
ALICE is your neighbor across the street.
ALICE is your coworker.
You could be ALICE.
The United Way of Northern New Jersey developed a new demographic definition, “Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed” (ALICE) to help bring awareness and unity around the needs of “working poor” families.
This new acronym allows us the opportunity to engage the community and get them talking about a significant, important, but often forgotten portion of our population. After all, ALICE is not constrained by race, ethnicity, gender or age. ALICE is simply defined as any individual who is employed but is unable to afford the basic necessities of housing, food, child care, health care and transportation.
At Interfaith, we find it especially important and necessary to advocate for these individuals because they are people we serve every day. These individuals work hard to provide for themselves and their families, but they often find it difficult to make ends meet, especially when faced with a financial crisis such as a job loss, a car accident or a high medical bill. These situations compound ALICE’s uphill battle in establishing a more stable financial future.
For example, when ALICE does not have enough income, they must make difficult choices. They may be forced to go without healthcare or nutritious food for their children. They may be forced into sub-standard housing or even homelessness. All of these situations can have detrimental effects on their health, safety and financial future, which in turn impacts their family and community as a whole.
It is our hope that by providing emergency basic needs assistance to individuals in Northern Denton County, who can often be defined by ALICE, we can help them on the path to self-sufficiency. Additionally, we hope that by bringing awareness to this population, we can educate our community about these individuals and the struggles they face and work together to help provide them with a more stable and promising future.