Helping ALICE Prosper

United Way of Western CT helps ALICE prosper

ALICE is our neighbor and our friend.
We depend on ALICE every day—to care for our children and our aging parents, to stock our store shelves, and fix our cars.

Changes in our world and our economy have led to a growing population of people who work hard but still struggle to get by. We call hard-working, struggling people ALICE®: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

More than 40,000 households in Western Connecticut— 1 in 3—are ALICE and struggle to pay for basic necessities, including housing, food, child care, health care, and transportation.

ALICE is working—many are working more than one job.

We all know ALICE. They care for our children in childcare centers and schools, they work in health care with our aging parents, they provide services in retail stores and restaurants. They are the cashier at your local grocery store and the security guard at your office building. Or they can be retired and living on a fixed income.

The one thing they have in common is that they are one emergency away from a financial crisis.

How Can I Tell If I Am ALICE?

The Household Survival Budget determines whether you and your family are part of the ALICE population. In Fairfield County, if you have a toddler and an infant, you can be making as much as $81,792 and be an ALICE household. To determine if you are ALICE based on your household size and income, click here (PDF)

What We Learned from Talking to ALICE

Between 2015 and 2018, United Way of Western Connecticut staff members conducted more than 30 community conversations with people who fall into the ALICE income threshold. During that time, we collected more than 800 surveys. Here’s what we learned:

  •   50% identified paying for food as a challenge
  •   51% identified paying for child care as a challenge.
  •   52% identified paying for emergency expenses as a challenge
  •   72% identified saving for a house as a challenge.

ALICE Advisory Board

United Way of Western Connecticut believes it’s crucially important to talk to the people we serve.

For that reason, we’ve created ALICE Advisory Boards with representation from the towns in our footprint, including New Milford, Stamford, and Danbury.

The ALICE Advisory Boards include hard-working, struggling people who want to have their voices heard. They meet once a month to guide the work of our United Way. The meetings provide a safe, comfortable environment where members can discuss ways to make their lives a little easier and more fulfilling.

Members receive a stipend for each meeting they attend.

If you or someone you know would like to join the ALICE Advisory Board, please contact Victoria Scofield at 203-883-6704 or

How Can You Help ALICE?

Join us in helping hard-working, struggling families in Western Connecticut.

We’re focused on making food and childcare more affordable, while helping ALICE keep more of their hard-earned dollars and save for the future through free financial stability programs.

United Way of Western CT ALICE video

Acts of Kindness for ALICE
In Danbury alone, 35% of residents go to work each day and still struggle to make ends meet. That's thousands of individuals and families in our area who often dread a seemingly simple task like grocery shopping. Why? Because of the stress and difficulty in stretching their limited dollars to feed a household. In grocery strore aisles, difficult decisions are made to make it the end of the month and pay all necessary bills.

United Way is grateful for the support from one of our donors to bring this video to fruition. With $2,000 in hand, we performed this random act of kindness by surprising unsuspecting PriceRite customers. We met many wonderful people that day, and we carry their stories and experiences with us. With the release of this video, we hope to raise awareness about the struggles of ALICE.