Pandemic creates further problems for ALICE population, according to United Way


WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) — United Way of the Northern Shenandoah Valley is sharing a report released by United Way of Virginia that gives data on how the pandemic has impacted those in the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed) population.

The ALICE population includes people who have jobs but don’t have enough money to put away into savings or afford emergency situations. They make just enough to not qualify for federal financial assistance.

The data collected between March 2020 and May 2021 found that the ALICE population struggled more than those above the ALICE threshold in the areas of financial stability, physical, mental health, and overwell well-being.

“All the findings were interconnected for example job destruction lead to food insecurity and all of these other factors were sort of connected to each other leading to instability,” said United Way of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Senior Director of Advancement, Elise Stine-Dolinar.

People below the ALICE threshold ran into problems such as having to take reduced hours at work because of not being able to afford childcare, or losing jobs, and then facing difficulties affording food.

“The concerns of parents below this ALICE threshold went beyond food needs also including housing expenses, paying off debts reductions in hours, wages job loss, medical issues unrelated to COVID-19 in addition,” Stine-Dolinar said.

The report ultimately reveals how one problem can often lead to another in the ALICE population during the pandemic. United Way hopes to address those issues by learning from the study to provide ALICE population assistance.

The data was collected from four national surveys conducted by the Federal Reserve Board, the University of Southern California, the U.S. Census Bureau and The United for ALICE group.

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