United Ways in Indiana are launching a survey to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic and economic disruption affected and continue to affect Hoosier communities around the state. The survey, launched this week, will help local United Ways and their communities identify trends and local needs to best provide resources and support in this challenging time. Community members are asked to respond and provide insight into how COVID-19 impacted your household’s ability to cover basic needs and the choices that your household makes to ensure health, education, and financial stability.
When COVID-19 hit, nearly 950,000 Indiana households were already one emergency away from financial ruin — a 10-year record high — setting the stage for the unprecedented economic impact of the crisis, according to Indiana’s latest ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) report, released in Spring 2020 by Indiana United Ways in partnership with United Way of Central Indiana and United For ALICE. The challenges faced by ALICE households continue to be exacerbated by the pandemic.
“We know that this pandemic has significantly affected and continues to affect our ALICE families, many of whom have kept our essential services afloat during this challenging time,” said Indiana United Ways President & CEO Maureen Noe. “As we look towards an opportunity to rebuild from this pandemic, we want to ensure that our local United Way network and partners understand our ALICE households’ current needs so that we are ready to provide support and resources.”
In 2018, of Indiana’s 2.6 million households, more than 610,000 were ALICE; a record number were unable to afford the basics for survival, despite working. That is in addition to the nearly 330,000 families that were living in poverty. The report shows ALICE households were locked out of the boom economy and unable to establish savings due to meager pay raises and inconsistent job hours, schedules, and benefits. As a result, ALICE households accounted for 24 percent of Indiana’s households in 2018, up from 16 percent in 2007. In contrast, poverty levels remained largely flat at about 13 percent.
“Prior to this pandemic, we already knew that 37 percent of Hoosier households were ALICE with another 11 percent vulnerable to becoming ALICE,” said Noe. “This survey gives our communities an opportunity to share how they’ve gotten by during this difficult time. It is quick and confidential and will enable United Ways and their partners to address our most pressing community challenges.”
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.
For more information or to find data about ALICE in local communities, visit www.UnitedForALICE.org/Indiana or contact Alicia Hazelwood, firstname.lastname@example.org or Kathryn Habecker, email@example.com.