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By Edward J. Tessman

As an agency that Provides Help & Creates Hope to those most in need throughout Eastern Connecticut, the recent 2018 ALICE Report issued by the United Way of Connecticut is cause for concern. Based on the ALICE Report for Connecticut, 40% of households or 4 out of 10 families in Connecticut, have income which falls below what is needed to pay for basic necessities of housing, food, child care, health care, technology and transportation.

ALICE, stands for - Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed.

The United Way Office in Connecticut and seventeen other states are promoting the ALICE initiative to place a spotlight on a large population of residents who are working, but have difficulty affording a basic Household Survival Budget. Richard J. Porth, CEO for the United Way of Connecticut reported that ALICE is our friend, neighbor, coworker and family member.

ALICE cares for our children and aging parents, fixes our cars and works in our local grocery stores, retail stores, and restaurants. ALICE lives in every town and city in Connecticut. ALICE workers are retail salespersons, nursing assistants, childcare workers, home health aides, car mechanics, security guards, teacher assistants and workers essential to every community’s success. Many ALICE households are one emergency away from a financial crisis impacting their ability to feed their family, heat their home, maintain their housing, and ensure their medical care.

Catholic Charities continues to Provide Help & Create Hope for those struggling to make ends meet and for those that are in crisis, struggling to meet their most basic needs. We see ALICE each and every day. Through our Intensive Case Management Program, with funding from the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut and through our Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program funded through the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies, Catholic Charities continues to be in a position to assist ALICE. By working with those to identify and set realistic and measurable individual and family goals, Catholic Charities can Provide Help & Create Hope through our Job Readiness, Job Development, Job Counseling, Financial and Budget Planning, Training, Education and Quality of Life Improvement, Monthly Support Groups, and our Emergency Basic Needs programs.

As we enter our 98th Anniversary year, we realize and understand the true power of Hope and what it means to those who we serve. “Hope anchors the soul,” Hebrews 6:19.

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