Who is ALICE?
The 2020 ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report reminds us that prior to COVID-19 and the economic crisis, “normal” was not working for most Hoosiers. “Normal” meant a family making tough choices between child care and getting to work. “Normal” meant food-insecure seniors facing additional health risks. “Normal” meant a single parent was unable to afford health care and housing. We must work together to create a new “normal” for ALICE households in Indiana.
From 2010 to 2018, Indiana showed steady economic improvements according to traditional measures. Unemployment in the state and across the U.S. fell to historic lows, GDP grew, and wages rose slightly. Yet in 2018, eight years after the end of the Great Recession, 37% of Indiana’s 2,592,262 households still struggled to make ends meet. And while 13% of these households were living below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), another 24% — almost twice as many — were ALICE households: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These households earned above the FPL, but not enough to afford basic household necessities.
In a more equitable Indiana, ALICE families have safe, affordable housing, quality child care and education, adequate food, and reliable health care and transportation. Investing in, advocating for, and lifting up ALICE families benefits all households and local communities.
Let’s not go back to “normal.” Let’s create the new, better “normal.” A normal that works for ALICE. A normal that works for all of us.