The film clip we showed talks about a line that many families struggle to keep themselves above. This line is the poverty line. In Kalamazoo County 17% of households fall below this line.
But the poverty line alone does not tell the whole story. To better understand poverty, the United Way developed the ALICE project, an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These are households which earn more than the poverty level, yet less than the cost of living. These are families who do not earn enough money each month to cover the cost of life’s basic necessities. ALICE accounts for 24% of households in Kalamazoo County.
When we consider both the poverty line and ALICE together, over 40% of households in Kalamazoo County are living in poverty. Poverty is interconnected with all social issues and greatly impacts education, housing, employment, food, transportation and health.