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ALICE Awareness


Any of these individuals could be ALICE -- WORKING HARD BUT STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE

ALICE® is a United Way acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed and represents those individuals and families who are working but still struggling to make ends meet.  Your child care worker, the cashier at your supermarket, the salesperson at your big box store, your waitress, a home health aide, warehouse worker, an office clerk... anyone can be living under the ALICE threshold.

About The United Way ALICE Report:

There is a basic belief in America that if you work hard, you can support your family. Yet the data presented in the 2020 United Way ALICE Report shows that this is not the case for a majority of families in our area.

The United Way ALICE Report provides a comprehensive picture of financial need in Virginia, beyond traditional federal poverty guidelines. The statewide ALICE Report shows data at a county and city level for the entire state to bring awareness to part of our population known as ALICE. The ALICE population represents those of us (men, women, and families) who work hard and earn more than the official Federal Poverty Level, but less than the basic cost of living.

United Way organizations in Virginia commissioned the ALICE report to bring awareness to our state and to provide this useful information to our various regions. In the Buena Vista, Lexington, and Rockbridge County, Virginia service area, the number of ALICE households is higher than the rest of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The ALICE rate, combined with a poverty rate at 19%, shows that as many as 51% of households in our region cannot afford the basic cost of living. 

In 2018, 51% of our local households lived in poverty or were ALICE, compared to 39% of all Virginia households. These households contribute to our local economy by earning, spending, and paying taxes, yet they still struggle to make ends meet. Even though the cost of living in the region is lower than in the rest of the state, it is higher than what most residents earn.

Virginia was one of nine states in the U.S. that experienced a widening of income inequality in 2018. We can do better. We MUST do better! To bring greater awareness and assist with decision making, the United Way of Rockbridge is making the Virginia ALICE report available to our local governments, universities, faith groups, and other non-profit organizations.

Download the Virginia Alice Report


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