Press Release: 9,800 HOUSEHOLDS IN ASOTIN AND NEZ PERCE COUNTIES STRUGGLE TO AFFORD THE BASICS
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Samantha Skinner, Executive Director, Twin County United Way
Twin County United Way office: (208) 743-6594
9,800 HOUSEHOLDS IN ASOTIN AND NEZ PERCE COUNTIES STRUGGLE TO AFFORD THE BASICS
United Way report shows one in three households are one emergency away from financial trouble
LEWIS-CLARK VALLEY – More than 9,800 households in Asotin and Nez Perce counties struggle to make ends meet, many can’t afford a basic monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone. New data released by the United Ways of the Pacific Northwest and the United Way ALICE Report shows that one in three households live one unexpected expense away from financial distress.
In the Twin County United Way coverage area, 3,397 households (2,096 in Nez Perce County and 1,301 in Asotin County) live below the federal poverty level. Another 6,405 (3,709 in Nez Perce County and 2,696 in Asotin County) are ALICE, a United Way acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
ALICE households earn above the federal poverty level, but less than what it takes to survive in the modern economy. Families living below nationally assigned poverty thresholds ($11,800 for a single adult, $24,300 for a family of four) combined with ALICE households make up 39 percent of the Valley’s 25,424 households.
The United Way recently updated the ALICE Report’s figures that compare household costs to income at the county level in each state. “Federal poverty levels are set without considering the actual costs of living and working that vary based on where a person resides. It doesn’t capture the full extent of financial struggle in our community,” said Twin County United Way Executive Director, Sam Skinner.
The ALICE Report uses new measures to provide a more accurate picture of financial insecurity at the state, county and municipal level. Skinner continued, “As this report shows, there are many in our community who live above that federal poverty level, who are working hard to get ahead, but still have no savings and are one unexpected expense away from not being able to pay a utility bill, purchase needed medication or put gas in the car.”
The success of a community is directly related to the financial stability of its members. ALICE households include singles, families with children and those 65 and older. And, families with a single parent are much more likely to be below the ALICE threshold.
ALICE also includes individuals that are critical to our economy. ALICE is our child care workers, parents on Social Security, wait staff, and clerks. ALICE cannot always pay the bills and is forced to make tough choices such as deciding between quality child care or paying the rent.
“We come in contact with people we know and care about everyday who are walking a financial tightrope. They are just barely getting by,” said Skinner. The ALICE report raises awareness about a segment of our community that is struggling to afford basic necessities. The goal is to stimulate actions that will improve the financial stability of ALICE families and their communities.
The ALICE Report can be found online at tcuw.org or unitedwayalice.org.
About the United Way ALICE Project
The United Way ALICE Project is a collaboration of United Ways in Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. The Project has developed standardized measurements that provide a comprehensive look at financial hardship across the U.S. With this data, Project members work to stimulate a fresh, nonpartisan dialogue across the country about the importance and fragility of working families living paycheck to paycheck.
About the Twin County United Way
The Twin County United Way’s mission is to identify needs, unite people and share resources to improve lives in Asotin and Nez Perce counties. The United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability for every person in every community. More information can be found at www.tcuw.org. Connect with Twin County United on social media at www.facebook.com/TwinCountyUW, on Twitter @TwinCountyUW or on Instagram TCUW, #TCUW #LiveUnited.