New report shows financial struggles of Connecticut families

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A new report is shedding light on Connecticut’s struggling families.

United Way looked at households in every town and city and found 10 percent fall under the Federal Poverty Level. However, United Way says that number reflects only part of the story of financial hardship for families in the state.

aliceThe nonprofit organization created a new term: ALICE, or Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These families are above poverty line and are in the work force, but still struggle to meet their basic necessities.

The report found 141,628 households are below poverty level in Connecticut, while 332,817 households are below the ALICE threshold. That means 474,445 households in Connecticut, or 35 percent, are struggling.

Those below the ALICE threshold and the poverty level exist across all cities and towns in Connecticut.

Hartford’s number alone is staggering–69 percent of homes fall below the ALICE threshold.

The non-profit group Hands on Hartford sees these families’ struggles first hand. For 45 years the organization has provided basic-needs services in the city.

“Certainly in the last six or seven we’ve seen an increase in working families who are working awfully hard to hold things together,” said Executive Director Barbara Shaw. “With no good jobs on the horizon, and expensive housing, it’s gotten more complicated than even what we saw a decade ago.”

Shaw says they are focusing on the immediate need, but says policy changes in job development for career jobs and the creation of more affordable housing are long-term solutions.

Hands on Hartford has purchased the old Spaghetti Warehouse property in the Parkville section of Hartford to build affordable housing next year.

The organization notes that its food pantry at the South Church location is in need of food donations and money. Click here for more on Hands on Hartford, and click here to read the CT United Way report.


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