Do you know ALICE?
In 2016, 13,541 Hays County households – 19% percent - could not afford basic needs such as housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and technology. An additional 10,690 households or 15% of the 2016 population, lived at or below the poverty level. The numbers are even more alarming in Caldwell County. In 2016, 5,066 Caldwell County households or 40% could not afford basic needs and 1,900 or 15% of the population lived at or below the poverty level.
You may not know it, but yes. You Know ALICE.
ALICE is a United Way acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed - households that earn more than the Federal Poverty Level, but less than the cost of living in Hays and Caldwell Counties.
ALICE is men and women of all ages and races who go to work every day but still walk a financial tightrope. ALICE may be your parent on Social Security, your child care worker, the salesperson at your favorite retail store, your server or cashier at your favorite restaurant, your cleaning person, a home health aide, an office worker, a laborer or mechanic, or a college student – and the list goes on.
ALICE is a hardworking member of the community who is employed (often with multiple jobs) yet he or she does not earn enough to afford the necessities of life. ALICE lives paycheck to paycheck and is one emergency, one illness, one car repair or one disaster away from poverty.
In 2016, more than one-quarter of households in Hays and Caldwell Counties struggled to get by, unable to afford basic necessities such as housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and a smartphone. When ALICE households lack adequate income, reducing expenses is a matter of survival. Short-term tradeoffs, like a skipped doctor's visit, delayed car repair, or abandoning college and career training, have long-term consequences for the entire community.
What is United Way Doing to Help ALICE?
United Way of Hays and Caldwell Counties fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every Hays and Caldwell County community. We are working towards a community where people thrive, lead healthy lives and can reach their full potential. Our community impact work is mainly geared toward supporting ALICE families, including investing in education, workforce development, health care, basic needs, and responding after natural disasters. Together with corporate partners, social service agencies, government entities, and passionate individuals, our aim is to put ALICE families on a pathway to prosperity.
What Can YOU Do to Help ALICE?
You can help ALICE by joining the fight for the health, education and financial stability in Hays and Caldwell Counties.
Give – Your donation to the United Way of Hays and Caldwell Counties Community Impact Fund will provide job skills training, food for struggling families and senior citizens, early childhood education programs, college and career readiness, and access to quality healthcare.
Advocate – YOU can share the ALICE Report and start talking about what this means for our community and our future. Use the hashtag #HaysCoALICE or #CaldwellALICE and share the report.
Volunteer –Volunteering is key to making an impact in our community. Whether it's reading to children, mentoring a student, preparing taxes for hard-working families or helping around the office, your time makes a difference to our community. Volunteer as an individual or as a group. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (512) 353-1420 to find out volunteer opportunities to help ALICE.