If you live anywhere near Vincennes, you probably either know an ALICE or are an ALICE.  But maybe not in the way you expect…

The Indiana Association of United Ways recently released a study by Rutgers University and commissioned by the United Ways in six states entitled “The ALICE Study”.  Below are some excerpts from the study that are both surprising and of concern.

The ALICE-Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed Study of Financial Hardship places a spotlight on hardworking residents who have little or no savings, and are one emergency from falling into poverty.  The Report is the most comprehensive depiction of financial need in the state to date, using the latest data from a variety of sources, including the U. S. Census, Internal Revenue Service and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Included in the report are some surprising and disturbing statistics…

A total of 570,000 Hoosier households fall into what United Way calls the ALICE population.  These are households earning more than the official U.S. poverty level, but less than the basic cost of living.  Combined, ALICE and poverty households, account for 37% of households in the state.  This number is more than double the official poverty rate.

“ALICE is our child care worker, our retail clerk, the CNA who cares for our grandparents, and our delivery driver.  When we know who ALICE is, we can think more clearly about the kind of help and support that will make a difference in his or her life,” says Kathy Ertel, Board Chair of Indiana Association of United Ways…

 The United Way ALICE Report reveals:

More than 1 in 3 Hoosier households cannot afford the basics of housing, food, health care,  child care, and transportation, despite working hard.

·       In Indiana, 37% of households live below the ALICE threshold-23% are above poverty but below the basic cost of living; about 14% live below the federal poverty level.

·       There are over 570,000 ALICE households in Indiana, more than double the official poverty rate.

·       All counties in Indiana have more than 21% of households living below the ALICE threshold.

 For more information or to find data about ALICE in local communities, visit

 Do you know an ALICE?

There are ALICES in our congregations, in our communities, even in our families.  Mary and Joseph would have been ALICEs by this measure.

What will be our response?