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Many organizations focus on supporting those individuals and families who have hit bottom. Is there a better way? Can we help these individuals regain their footing before they slipped over the edge? Can we prevent people from losing the means to survive and thrive?
To achieve significant community impact we must first understand the population of families working hard, but falling short. United Way commissioned the ALICE Report to unite our community around strategies that lead to a more stable and prosperous Broward.
ALICE refers to the population in our community who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The ALICE Population represents those among us who are working whose salaries do not match Broward’s high cost of living. They are educated, hardworking and striving to create a better life for themselves and their families. Basic costs like housing, food and gas have increased through the recession. However, wages for existing jobs have not increased and new jobs are starting even lower. More people are living paycheck to paycheck where one car repair or medical bill can tip them over into financial crisis.
The ALICE Report shows 44% of Broward County is considered to be in the ALICE Population or already in poverty. These are our neighbors, families and co-workers and their work supports all of us. They care for our children, serve our meals and keep the office functioning. Despite working, often at more than one job, the ALICE Population earns too little for a sustainable lifestyle. An increasing number are not making it and we all feel the consequences.
United Way has long worked with the ALICE population to help build better lives. The Report will clarify the complex challenges they face and provide us with invaluable information for building even better solutions focused on improving their lives and the community.
What is United Way doing for the ALICE POPULATION across Florida?
- Raising awareness that the ALICE population exists and is essential to Florida’s economy.
- Utilizing data to evaluate programs, policies and systems that make it easier for ALICE to access opportunities to work hard and sustainably provide for their families and future.
- Collaborating with businesses, governments and community groups to identify and advocate for solutions addressing the underlying issues that hold our families, schools, businesses and communities back from the bright future our Sunshine State deserves.
- Florida’s United Ways are joining together in a unified effort to advocate for State and Federal legislative issues of critical importance to the communities they serve throughout the state.
What is United Way Doing for ALICE in Broward County?
United Way of Broward County invests in the building blocks for a better life - Education, Income, Health, which positively impacts people’s lives.
- Child Care Support – enables thousands of children to attend safe, high-quality child care. Without this support parents would have to choose between not working and often unsafe options.
- ReadingPals – hundreds of volunteers help ensure prekindergarten and 1st grade students learn to read so they can read to learn in the coming years.
- Many other funded programs provide after school tutoring, supports for children with special needs, early education and other services that promote educational opportunities for all.
- Center for Working Families – a comprehensive prosperity initiative helping individuals and families progress along a path to prosperity by Earning, Keeping and Growing family income and wealth.
- Ways to Work – provides low-interest, character based auto loans to working families with poor or no credit. Families often simultaneously improve their income, education, credit and quality of life.
- Other programs including Project Lifeline and the VITA Free Tax Program provide emergency food and direct support to ensure Broward families have a access to a true pathway to prosperity.
Improving People’s Health
- Healthy behaviors – ensuring individuals and families in Broward County are healthy and avoid risky behaviors. Programs focus on HIV/AIDS/STI’s, Cancer, and Obesity Prevention.
- Access to affordable healthcare – guaranteeing Broward County residents have access to quality healthcare. Programs also help lower costs to the public health system through prevention.
- MISSION UNITED – aligns and connects existing services to support US military veterans and their families to address issues of employment, education and health that have kept them from thriving.
- Commission on Substance Abuse – coordinates programs and community solutions, including the development of youth leaders, to prevent substance abuse and build healthier communities.
- Advocacy – convening community stakeholders and engaging elected officials from local to federal, we work to promote sound public policy and legislation that benefit the common good.
Please join us in raising awareness and stimulating a fresh dialogue among community leaders about how, together, we can provide the ALICE population an opportunity to succeed.
If you are looking for direct asistance from one of the many programs supported by United Way of Broward County please contact 2-1-1.
If you have questions about the United Way ALICE Report and how to understand or apply it, please call 954-308-9275.