Posted by Heather Rutz on Feb 02, 2018
The United Way is advocating for the working poor.
While many of us are familiar with federal poverty income guidelines, we may know less about survival and stable household incomes.
Federal poverty guidelines were developed in the 1960s, and last updated in the 1970s, United Way of Greater Lima CEO Carole Braden-Clark said Monday. The guidelines don’t come close to measuring the income a household needs to afford the most basic necessities, let alone provide stability for a family.
In 2009, United Way studied families and coined a phrase for the working poor, ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. In Ohio, United Way counts 1.2 million ALICE households, and in all 88 counties, at least 20 people of the population lives below the poverty income guidelines.
To see the difference in these incomes, Braden-Clark contrasted three numbers for a family of four:
  • The federal poverty guideline: $24,500
  • Survival household income: $60,396
  • Stability household income: $104,088.
Unites Way concentrates its effort on ALICE families, Braden-Clark said, and works with their partner agencies to move families to self-sufficiency. In Ohio, that has been particularly challenging, she said. Through the Great Recession, the number of ALICE families grew faster than the overall population, and the recession hit those families hardest.
United Way advocates for increases to the earned income tax credit, child tax credit. The agency also supports innovative ways to replace older housing with new, smaller, more affordable housing. Small things can make a difference, also Braden-Clark said, such as working with employers to offer steady work schedules for families with child care and transportation needs.
In other Rotary news:
Tickets remain for the reverse raffle Feb. 17. They are $125 each, and additional dinners are $25.
The club is close to reaching the $15,000 End Homelessness Campaign goal. The previous week’s fellowship raised $285, and the total now stands at more than $12,600.