Nearly 9% of the residents in Fairfield County are living in poverty. But there are also a growing number of individuals and families who are employed – often in more than one job – but unable to afford the basic necessities of housing, food, child care, health care and transportation. The United Way has been working to quantify this number to provide a broader picture of financial insecurity. As a result, they have identified the people as ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
In Fairfield County, 23% of the households have incomes above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) but below the basic cost-of-living threshold. And ALICE households are present in all of the communities served by P2P.
- Darien … 10%
- New Canaan … 10%
- Norwalk … 27%
- Stamford … 25%
- Westport … 11%
- Weston … 9%
- Wilton … 10%
At P2P, we see many of these individuals on a daily basis and we have been working hard to ensure their needs are understood by introducing them to United Way staff for interviews. We know the faces behind the statistics.
People like Carol, the mother of two teenage daughters who works full-time for a life insurance company. She earns too much to qualify for most subsidy programs, so she juggles and struggles to buy food, pay the utilities and support her children while also setting aside money for transportation to and from work. Carol is luckier than some because she qualifies for the Section 8 program, which allows her to afford a reasonably-sized apartment for her family.
For Thanksgiving, P2P provided Carol and her daughters with a holiday basket that included everything she needed to prepare a bountiful family meal – from the turkey to the dessert – to enjoy in her own home.
And as with many who are afforded even the smallest kindness, Carol was overcome with emotion and most thankful for the generosity of all who make it possible for P2P to help her, and others, in this way.