October 26-30, 2020

Do you know ALICE?

Chances are, you already do.

ALICE is an acronym that stands for Asset-Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE households earn more than the Federal Poverty Level but less than the basic cost of living.

This means that these households are just one emergency away from slipping into poverty. And these households can include anyone: a single adult, a senior citizen, a college student, a single parent, a family with kids, a young couple, or an elderly widower. Anyone in our local community could be ALICE.

ALICE individuals and families struggle to afford basic necessities including housing, food, child care, health care, and transportation because they fall below the ALICE Threshold—or the minimum income that households need to afford all of their basic needs. The ALICE Threshold is calculated using actual costs of essential goods and services—including housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and basic technology—in every U.S. county and is adjusted for household composition.

According to the 2020 ALICE Report, 61% of Harrisonburg and 36% of Rockingham County residents are currently living below the ALICE Threshold.* Our work and the programs we help fund help keep individuals and families living below the ALICE Threshold from slipping into poverty. But so often, this population goes unnoticed.

That's why we invite you to participate in this year's ALICE Awareness Week.

During the week of October 26-30, 2020, we will send a daily email with information about the reality of our neighbors living below the ALICE threshold.

Each email will provide you with an opportunity for EDUCATION, REFLECTION and ACTION. 

Over the course of the week, we will break down the issues of housing, childcare, education, and transportation, and how these matters impact the most vulnerable individuals and households in our community. The information sent each day will help you connect the dots between the experience of those individuals living below the ALICE threshold and the consequences of insufficient household income.

Throughout the week, we'll be looking at data through an equity lens, which will help shed light on widening disparities that exist in income and wealth between Black households and other races and ethnicities.

We will also be sharing more about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on financial stability and how it has led to increased economic vulnerability. We will also use this time to highlight local community organizations that provide a network of support to keep our community going through good times and bad.

And most importantly, we will provide meaningful ways that you can help advocate for change so that, together, we can help keep these individuals and families on their feet while we work to identify long-term solutions to their greatest needs.

For more information about the ALICE community, see the most recent ALICE report.