FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Aloha United Way’s Sobering National ALICE® Findings Hits Home In Hawai‘i
National data released by the United Way ALICE Project reveals Hawai‘i ranks at the top with California and New Mexico with the highest percentage of struggling households
HONOLULU, Hawai‘i – According to new data released by the United Way ALICE® Project at a Press Conference this morning in Washington, D.C. there are 50.8 million U.S. households that can’t afford a basic monthly survival budget including housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone. This includes 16.1 million families in poverty and another 34.7 million ALICE households, which earn above the federal poverty level, but below a basic cost of living. The ALICE population has not been carefully studied or widely understood until now.
Over 30 percent of households in each state cannot afford a basic survival budget. The percentage of struggling families in Hawai‘i is an astounding 49 percent of households, making Hawai‘i one of 3 states, along with California and New Mexico, with the highest percentage of families who are struggling. The Project compares 2016 household costs versus incomes at the county-level, demonstrating how calculations based on national averages fail to accurately represent the extent of financial struggle in America. It also sheds light on the plight of Hawai‘i’s hardworking families who live paycheck to paycheck.
“The Report exposes the magnitude of ALICE in Hawai‘i,” said Cindy Adams, president and CEO of Aloha United Way. “ALICE individuals and families exceed one-third of Hawai‘i’s population. This inspired and continues to inspire AUW to take action to change the system and help ALICE find pathways to a better life.”
The term ALICE is an acronym for Asset, Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE are the hardworking, tax-paying people we see every day—cashiers, retail salespeople, waiters and waitresses, teaching assistants, mechanics—who struggle every month to pay basic household expenses like rent, food, child care and transportation.
“This week, the House of Representatives is considering legislation that would make it harder for millions of Americans, including 19,000 or more in Hawaii, to access basic food assistance. This is the wrong way to go, and the Aloha United Way’s ALICE report provides important insight into why," said Senator Mazie Hirono. "The ALICE report was an eye-opening look at how Hawaii’s working people are struggling to get by, and the type of independent, fact-based analysis that should be driving Congress’s action. I hope that the release of United Way’s national report serves to inform policymakers about the challenges that working people across the country face, so that we can focus our efforts on improving programs to lift people up.”
The Project is a grassroots movement that seeks to redefine financial hardship in the U.S. by providing comprehensive, unbiased data to help inform policy solutions at all branches of government and in business, academia and nonprofit organizations. In Hawai‘i there are 165,013 ALICE households spread throughout every town and city across the state, within every ethnicity. The Report is an invaluable tool inspiring innovation and change on behalf of this segment of our population. It is informing AUW’s strategy to create sustainable, long-term solutions for Hawai‘i’s ALICE.
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