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Bringing Hardship Into Focus

For millions of working families, every day is a test. But on this test the choices are all impossible, and one wrong answer can have devastating results: pay the rent or pick up that prescription, buy auto insurance or keep the lights on, fill the fridge or the car’s gas tank.

Each of these videos offers a unique perspective into this often-hidden world of financial struggle – as well as the actions that many are taking to help make financial stability a reality for these ALICE households.

About ALICE

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Restoring America’s Promise

Restoring America’s Promise

Nearly 1 in 3 households in America works, but can’t make ends meet.  Meet ALICE®: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. During a May 17, 2018 forum at The National Press Club, presenters including United Ways and business leaders shared the importance of recognizing and lifting up ALICE workers across the country.

Dispelling Myths 1

Dispelling Myths 1

ALICE Myth #1: Financial hardship is confined to "poor" neighborhoods John Franklin, formers CEO, United Way of Northern New Jersey shares how life isn't good for everyone even in seemingly affluent communities. Franklin shared these remarks on May 17, 2018 at a forum held at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Dispelling Myths 2

Dispelling Myths 2

ALICE Myth #2: The economy is strong While unemployment is at historic lows, it doesn't tell the full story. There are 51 million households that cannot afford the basics. Watch ALICE Project Director Stephanie Hoopes, Ph.D., break down the data. Hoopes shared these remarks on May 17, 2018 at a forum held at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Dispelling Myths 3

Dispelling Myths 3

ALICE Myth #3: ALICE doesn't work hard enough Karen Perham–Lippman was on her way to earning a doctoral degree in research science when she became ALICE. She made the choice to leave an untenable situation, but she didn't choose to be in poverty. Perham–Lippman shared these remarks on May 17, 2018 at a forum held at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Dispelling Myths 4

Dispelling Myths 4

ALICE Myth #4: ALICE's struggles are not ours to fix ALICE matters deeply to businesses from mom and pop shops to Fortune 500 companies like the Entergy Corporation, says Patty Riddlebarger, Entergy's vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility. The Louisiana–based utility is committed to keeping the power flowing for customers who struggle financially. Riddlebarger shared these remarks on May 17, 2018 at a forum held at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Dispelling Myths 5

Dispelling Myths 5

ALICE Myth #5: We cannot change life for ALICE United Way of Southeast Louisiana's J. Wayne Leonard Prosperity Center proves that with tailored assistance, we can help empower ALICEs to turn their lives around. A one–stop resource, the center connects ALICE individuals and families to financial education and coaching, credit repair and counseling, benefits screening, and income tax filing assistance. United Way's Odessa Adams–Payne shares how the center helped Terry boost his credit score from 400 to 700 within less than one year. Adams–Payne shared these remarks on May 17, 2018 at a forum held at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

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Meet ALICE: In Their Own Words

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ALICE Children

ALICE Children

ALICE Children share what it is like to live in a household that is struggling financially, in their own words.

Meet Charlene (full length)

Meet Charlene (full length)

Charlene is a northern New Jersey mother who works full time and is raising her two young sons. While Charlene works to improve the quality of area child care centers she struggles to provide for her family. Charlene is ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. Charlene chose to share her story with United Way of Northern New Jersey in hopes that it will increase awareness and, ultimately, improve conditions. She says: "If we don’t discuss this, and we don’t talk about it, and we don’t raise the awareness, it’s never going to change."

Meet Sebastian

Meet Sebastian

As part of the "Families on the Brink" series, Richard French Live speaks with Sebastian Galvez about his experiences with financial hardship.

Meet Rose

Meet Rose

As part of the new series "When the Ends Don't Meet: Families on the Brink", Richard French Live's Andrew Whitman speaks with Rose Quinn, a woman living on the brink of poverty.

Meet Lauren

Meet Lauren

Lauren from Fredericksburg, VA shares the difficult choices she and other ALICE households face when they don’t earn enough to make ends meet.

Meet Taylor

Meet Taylor

Taylor from Front Royal, VA shares her and her family’s experience as an "ALICE" – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed – household.

Meet Alice

Meet Alice

Alice from Fredericksburg, VA is "ALICE" – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. Listen as she shares her story of struggle and success.

Coach Stringer – A Voice for ALICE

Coach Stringer – A Voice for ALICE

Rutgers University Women’s Basketball Coach and Hall of Fame member C. Vivian Stringer shares how "angels" helped her family through tough times when she was growing up. Coach Stringer, who is also United Way of Northern New Jersey Women United’s honorary chair, encourages individuals to act as angels today by supporting United Way in its work to help ALICE families achieve financial stability.

Meet Michele

Meet Michele

United Way offers ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and those in poverty access to free services that help put them on a path to financial stability. Meet Michele and hear how our free tax preparation program helps ALICE get back the return they deserve by ensuring they receive critical tax credits.

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Act for ALICE

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Join the Fight

Join the Fight

United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. No matter the obstacles. No matter the odds. We surround our community’s most critical problems and we fight. Change doesn’t happen alone. We have one life – to live better, we must Live United.

How Can Business Lift Up ALICE?

How Can Business Lift Up ALICE?

Patty Riddlebarger, vice president of Social Responsibility for Entergy, talks about why ALICE matters to all businesses from mom and pop companies to Fortune 500 corporations. She shares four concrete suggestions for how businesses can help to improve life for their ALICE employees and customers and the communities where they live and work. Riddlebarger shared these remarks on May 17, 2018 at a forum held at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Education – We Empower ALICE to Succeed

Education – We Empower ALICE to Succeed

United Way works to provide ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed ) with access to quality and affordable early childhood education. See how United Way’s efforts to reduce teacher turnover gives educators the opportunity to grow professionally and children access to a quality learning environment. You can help...Let’s LIVE UNITED!

Give ALICE a Fighting Chance

Give ALICE a Fighting Chance

Why is it that one in three New Jersey households can't get by? United Way of Northern New Jersey's data–driven ALICE Report (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) examines financial hardship in New Jersey. We are driving community changes so that ALICE can thrive. View our video to hear why giving to United Way is important to build a vibrant community and give ALICE a fighting chance. See what happens when people LIVE UNITED.

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker knows the impact of good data and how it can spur positive change. "Love in action," is what he calls our work to bring equity for ALICE. Join this #ActForALICE movement and tag us @UnitedWayNNJ to share how you are taking action to improve life for ALICE in our communities.

Mark Romanski

Mark Romanski

Mark, a member of the United Way Commercial Real Estate Network, acts for ALICE because he recognizes how hard these individuals work, and the contributions they make to our communities. Join this #ActForALICE movement and tag us @UnitedWayNNJ to share how you are taking action to improve life for ALICE in our communities.

Diane Wentworth

Diane Wentworth

Diane, a member of the ALICE Research Advisory Committee, acts for ALICE by helping to ensure the accuracy, integrity, and transparency of the ALICE reports. Join this #ActForALICE movement and tag us @UnitedWayNNJ to share how you are taking action to improve life for ALICE in our communities.

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ALICE in Focus: Children

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Intro to ALICE in Focus – Children

Intro to ALICE in Focus – Children

While 16% of all children nationwide were in poverty just before the pandemic hit, another 33% – more than twice as many – lived in ALICE households that struggled under the radar. ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families earn above the Federal Poverty Level, but not nearly enough to afford basics. United For ALICE National Director Stephanie Hoopes, Ph.D., puts this data at our fingertips through the new ALICE in Focus Research Series. The first in the series spotlights children, using research briefs and interactive online dashboards. Get started: UnitedForALICE.org.

Wilkins – ALICE in Focus: Children

Wilkins – ALICE in Focus: Children

Wilkins sheds light on the activities in which his family can't afford for him to participate because they are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Contrained, Employed). ALICE children like Wilkins are at the center of United For ALICE's first research brief, ALICE in Focus: Children.

Alayna – ALICE in Focus: Children

Alayna – ALICE in Focus: Children

Alayna talks about wanting a birthday party of her own, but because ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families are faced with impossible choices in an attempt to make ends meet – worsened by the fact that households of color are disproportionately ALICE – fun activities like birthday parties are often put on the backburner. ALICE children like Alayna are at the center of United For ALICE's first research brief, ALICE in Focus: Children.

Katy Spurlock: ALICE Data into Action for Children

Katy Spurlock: ALICE Data into Action for Children

Why is the data revealed in ALICE in Focus: Children so important, and how can it be used to create meaningful change? Katy Spurlock of the Urban Child Institute in Memphis, TN, weighs in on United For ALICE's first research brief.

Donte – ALICE in Focus: Children

Donte – ALICE in Focus: Children

Children from ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families often go hungry throughout the day. While they are food insecure, for various reasons many of these families can't access assistance programs like SNAP. Donte talks about the struggles of going through a school day hungry. ALICE children like Donte are at the center of United For ALICE's first research brief, ALICE in Focus: Children

Steven Dick: ALICE Data into Action for Children

Steven Dick: ALICE Data into Action for Children

The data dashboards for ALICE in Focus: Children can be used to create change in different ways. Steven Dick of Modern Metrics Barn in Youngsville, LA, shares his thoughts on this new tool, which is the centerpiece of United For ALICE's first research brief.

Melissa Clements: ALICE Data into Action for Children

Melissa Clements: ALICE Data into Action for Children

Why is the data revealed in ALICE in Focus: Children so important, and how can it be used to create meaningful change? Melissa Clements of Children's Forum in Tallahassee, FL, weighs in on United For ALICE's first research brief.

Grace – ALICE in Focus: Children

Grace – ALICE in Focus: Children

Children from ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families often lack access to quality early childhood programs. Grace demonstrates why this is so troublesome for children in these households. ALICE children like Grace are at the center of United For ALICE's first research brief, ALICE in Focus: Children.

Peter Kilde: ALICE Data into Action for Children

Peter Kilde: ALICE Data into Action for Children

What draws researchers and policy–makers to the data on ALICE households and children? Peter Kilde of West CAP in Glenwood City, WI, shares why this data is so important to him and his work, in light of United For ALICE's first research brief, ALICE in Focus: Children.

Helen – ALICE in Focus: Children

Helen – ALICE in Focus: Children

Helen highlights the importance of housing stability for households that are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). ALICE children like Helen are at the center of United For ALICE's first research brief, ALICE in Focus: Children.

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Media

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CNN – From Six Figures to ALICE

CNN – From Six Figures to ALICE

Meet a Morris County family of five that once was middle class and today is struggling to get by on what they describe as 'teenage salaries'. Here at United Way we call this population of the working poor, ALICE.

RNN – Meet Sebastian

RNN – Meet Sebastian

As part of the "Families on the Brink" series, Richard French Live speaks with Sebastian Galvez about his experiences with financial hardship.

RNN – Meet Rose

RNN – Meet Rose

As part of the new series "When the Ends Don't Meet: Families on the Brink", Richard French Live's Andrew Whitman speaks with Rose Quinn, a woman living on the brink of poverty.

NJ Spotlight

NJ Spotlight

John Franklin, former CEO of the United Way of Northern New Jersey, discusses how 850,000 families in New Jersey are struggling to make enough money to afford necessities, despite being employed.

My9

My9

My9 Host Jim McQueeny sat down with United Way CEO John Franklin to talk about how to improve live for ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed – in the Garden State.

ALICE In the News

ALICE In the News

United For ALICE is working to change how this country talks about those individuals and families who are working, but struggle to make ends meet. United Ways in more than a dozen states are banding together to shed light on ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and bring about long–term sustainable change to improve life for ALICE and everyone.

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