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United Way wants to focus on employed, but struggling individuals

By Carley Milligan, bizjournals.com

8 days ago   Article ID# 3995949
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United Way of Central Maryland

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND (bizjournals.com) - Nonprofit United Way would like you to meet ALICE.

743,738 households, or one in every three people in Maryland, that are living above the Federal Poverty Level, yet still have difficulty keeping up with the costs of housing, child care, food, transportation and health care are considered to be ALICE.

ALICE stands for asset limited, income constrained and employed individuals, and makes up the 35 percent of Maryland households that United Way wants to focus on based on a report released Monday.

The study was conducted by nine different United Way branches in partnership with a research committee using data from 2014.

While the federal poverty level for a four person family is $23,850 per year, the report says the "annual household survival budget," or a budget that allows a family of four to cover the costs of housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, taxes and some miscellaneous needs, is about $61,224.

Baltimore City was the county with the second highest percentage of households living below the "survival budget" or ALICE Threshold at 45 percent. 40 percent of Baltimore County households live below the threshold.

Somerset County in Southeast Maryland had the most households below the threshold at 53 percent, and Howard County had the fewest at 22 percent of households.

Four different factors play into the prevalence of ALICE, too many jobs that pay less than $20 per hour, the cost of living exceeding average wages, a lack of affordable housing near employment and a gap for households to meet the ALICE threshold that public and private resources and supplements cannot fill.

"This really is the reality we work with every day at United Way," said Franklyn Baker, CEO of United Way of Central Maryland.

In 2017, the nonprofit is turning its focus more specifically toward addressing the needs of the communities it serves, Baker said in an earlier interview. Expanding community services and the organization's move from its long-time downtown offices to Montgomery Business Park this spring as a part of the refocus.

Copyright 2017 bizjournals.com   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 8 days ago   Article ID# 3995949

United Way of Central Maryland    Visit Website

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