The United Way ALICE Project provides a framework, language, and tools to measure and understand the struggles of a population called ALICE — an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE is the growing number of households in our communities that do not earn enough to afford basic necessities. This research initiative partners with state United Way organizations to present data that can stimulate meaningful discussion, attract new partners, and ultimately inform strategies for positive change.
Based on the overwhelming success of this research in identifying and articulating the needs of this vulnerable population, the United Way ALICE Project has grown from a pilot in Morris County, New Jersey in 2009, to the entire state of New Jersey in 2012, and now to the national level with 18 states participating. Louisiana United Ways are proud to join the more than 540 United Ways in these states that are working to better understand ALICE’s struggles. Organizations across the country are also using this data to address the challenges and needs of their employees, customers, and communities. The result is that ALICE is rapidly becoming part of the common vernacular, appearing in the media and in public forums discussing financial hardship in communities nationwide.