Indiana United Ways COVID-19 Impact Survey Illustrates Challenges Faced by ALICE Households During Pandemic

melanie.bernas@iuw.org | Jun 2nd, 2021

To read a copy of the COVID-19 Impact Survey Results Report and learn more about ALICE, visit www.iuw.org/ALICE.  

Indianapolis, INDIANA — United Ways in Indiana released the COVID-19 Impact Survey Results Report which provides an initial understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic and economic disruption affected and continue to affect Hoosier communities around the state. The survey provides insight into the challenges specifically faced by ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households in Indiana, individuals and families just getting by but often working multiple jobs and one emergency away from financial instability.

According to the survey results, most respondents said that contracting COVID-19 was a top concern (67%) followed closely by concerns about paying housing expenses like rent/mortgage and utilities (61%), mental health issues (53%), and having enough food (47%). Respondents were also asked what resources would be helpful in getting through this difficult time. The top answer was assistance with rent/mortgage payments (41%), followed by help providing food for the household (36%). Respondents below the ALICE Threshold were significantly more likely than respondents above the ALICE Threshold to say that assistance with rent/mortgage payments, help providing food for the household, deferred payment for debt, assistance finding a new job, and other resources would be helpful for meeting household needs during the pandemic.

“These survey results are not a surprise to our local United Ways and their communities who have been facing the daily challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Indiana United Ways Board Chair Pam Ottersbach. “Regardless, these results do illuminate the struggle that our communities continue to face as we rebuild from this pandemic, especially around financial stability, affording basic necessities, childcare, and food security.”

When COVID-19 hit in March of 2020, nearly 950,000 Hoosier households were already on the brink of financial instability, according to the most recent Indiana ALICE report released in Spring 2020 by Indiana United Ways in partnership with United Way of Central Indiana and United for ALICE. United Ways in Indiana launched this survey in February 2021 to better understand community needs to best provide resources and support in this continually challenging time. Over 20,600 people living in Indiana responded to the survey about how their households have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their responses will help local United Ways and partners to understand challenges specifically faced by rural and urban households, families with children, and communities of color.

“Our local United Ways across the state are ready to connect community members, partner with local organizations, and provide resources to lift our communities back up from this pandemic,” said Ottersbach. “We hope that these survey results will inform and empower community leaders to focus on the essential needs of our communities, especially our ALICE households. It is imperative that we invest in supporting our most vulnerable Hoosiers and ensure that no one is left behind as we move towards reopening our economy, schools, and workplaces and creating our new normal.”  

The ALICE Report for Indiana was co-sponsored by Indiana United Ways and the United Way of Central Indiana and is a project of United For ALICE, a grassroots movement of some 650 United Ways in 21 states, corporations and foundations, all using the same methodology to document financial need. ALICE Reports provide county-by-county and town-level data, and analysis of how many households are struggling, including the obstacles ALICE households face on the road to financial independence.

To read the survey report, click here. For more information or to find data about ALICE in local communities, visit www.UnitedForALICE.org/Indiana or contact Kathryn Habecker, kathryn.habecker@iuw.org.

About Indiana United Ways

Indiana United Ways is the state association for United Ways in Indiana that supports thriving United Ways through capacity building, shared services, and partnering. Visit iuw.org to learn more.

About United For ALICE

United for ALICE is a driver of innovation, shining a light on the challenges ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households face and finding collaborative solutions. Through a standardized methodology that assesses the cost of living in every county, this project provides a comprehensive measure of financial hardship across the U.S. Equipped with this data, ALICE partners convene, advocate, and innovate in their local communities to highlight the issues faced by ALICE households and to generate solutions that promote financial stability. The grassroots movement represents United Ways, corporations, nonprofits and foundations in Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin; we are United For ALICE. For more information, visit: UnitedForALICE.org.

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