ALICE® is a project that focuses on community members who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed. The United Way ALICE Project is the umbrella of work to both reveal and address the needs of this population. The project includes research, United Way ALICE Reports, the National ALICE Advisory Council, Research Advisory Committees, the ALICE Learning Community, and the local community impact work to address the needs of this population. United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County along with local United Ways throughout Virginia have come together for the first time to produce the Virginia ALICE Report. This project is made possible by the generous financial backing from statewide sponsors Union Bank &Trust and GEICO.
Chances are, you already know ALICE! ALICE may be child care providers, home health aides, mechanics, retail workers, service providers, store clerks, office assistants, or other members in your community. ALICE can be in any stage of life and ALICE can be an individual or a family. Some households become ALICE due to an unforeseen life event such as a life altering health diagnosis, job loss, or family crisis such as a death or divorce.
ALICE is often a hidden population. ALICE households usually do not qualify for governmental aid or social service programs, so their struggles go unseen and unknown. The 2017 ALICE Report for Virginia shows us who ALICE is, where ALICE lives, and how ALICE struggles. United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County is striving to make our community a place where individuals and families achieve their potential through education, financial stability, and healthy living.
Over 60% of households in Harrisonburg and 42% of households in Rockingham County are in poverty or part of the ALICE population. Living with this type of bare-minimum budget does not allow for any savings and leaves many households vulnerable to sudden, unforeseen circumstances. This includes food, health, and job insecurity. For more information about ALICE in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, click here to watch WHSV's special report. To learn about ALICE populations nationwide, visit the official United Way ALICE website.
Thank you to all who attended our community conversation about the ALICE Report and its implications for Harrisonburg and Rockingham County on Wednesday, March 14th from at RISE Faith Community. Facilitated by Dr. Rob Alexander at James Madison University's Institute for Constructive Advocacy and Dialogue, we brought together perspectives from all sectors in order to form solutions for the most pressing needs in our community. If you want to learn more, checkout the local news coverage WHSV 'ALICE' Community Conversation, WHSV 1on1: Tuesday, March 13, and WMRA Exploring Solutions for ALICE.
For those who were unable to join us in March, we are hosting a second community conversation to facilitate a similar dialogue around the ALICE Report on Tuesday, April 24th from 4-6 PM (location TBD). To RSVP or if you have questions about our community conversations, email Tashfia Hasan.
Click on the videos below to watch the stories of two ALICE families who are struggling to make ends meet.