Jul 27, 2021

Get to Know ALICE: How Your Gifts are Making a Difference for Working Neighbors in Need

Who is ALICE? Identified by the United Way (an important partner agency of Catholic Charities) ALICE is the face of your neighbors who are working but still struggling to survive. ALICE isn’t a person; ALICE is an acronym that represents 27% of working Pennsylvanians who live above the poverty line, but still can’t afford basic necessities or save for the future. Learn more about ALICE.

ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE families earn income that exceeds the Federal Poverty Level, but is not high enough to afford basic household necessities or save for the future. Because cost of living is higher than what most people earn, you’ll find ALICE households in each of the eight counties in our region, in fact, in every county in Pennsylvania—in urban, suburban and rural areas, including women and men, young and old, of various races and ethnicities.

ALICE often earns too much to qualify for government assistance, and there is no room in ALICE’s budget for emergency expenses. If you combine PA households earning below the ALICE Threshold with those living below the Federal Poverty Line, that’s 39% of PA households who face financial hardship every day, in every county in PA.

Many clients who seek help from Catholic Charities are ALICE households—working, but struggling; earning too much to qualify for government assistance, but not enough to save for emergencies. When faced with unexpected expenses or a major change in their financial circumstances, they turn to Catholic Charities. Your support provides one-time emergency financial assistance and support from a caring, compassionate case manager who helps them to restore financial stability.

Learn how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted ALICE households.