Study: 2 in 5 Ohio households struggle to afford basics

COLUMBUS — There are 1.8 million households in Ohio unable to afford the state’s cost of living, with conditions still lagging behind prerecession levels, according to the United Way ALICE Report released this week by Ohio United Way.

ALICE — Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed; Study of Financial Hardship — places a spotlight on a large population of residents who work at low paying jobs, have little or no savings, and are one emergency away from falling into poverty. The report is the most comprehensive depiction of financial need in Ohio to date, using the latest data from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census. The report unveils new measures, based on present-day income levels and expenses that quantify the size of who in Ohio’s workforce is struggling financially, and why.

United Way of Hancock County will be using the research from the ALICE Project to support its financial stability initiative, which will be unveiled at a community forum Tuesday at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts. The event is free and open to the public. Registration and refreshments will be provided from 4:30-5:30 p.m., with the forum beginning at 5:30.

Those planning to attend are asked to register at http://liveunitedhancockcounty.org/forum or send an email to teresa.white@uwhancock.org or call 419-423-1432.

The new initiative will work to improve the financial stability for hundreds of Hancock County households.

“United Way has been committed to bringing people and organizations together to find solutions that help people lead better lives and build a better community,” said John Urbanski, president and CEO of United Way of Hancock County. “This initiative is another step forward in this important work.”

A total of 1.2 million households fall into what United Way calls the ALICE population. These are households earning more than the official U.S. poverty level, but less than the basic cost of living.

This number is nearly double the official poverty rate, which accounts for 660,000 households in the state. Combined, ALICE and poverty households account for 40 percent of Ohio’s population. Hancock County’s ALICE population is 25 percent, or 7,750 households.

For more information or to find data about ALICE in local communities, visit www.UnitedWayALICE.org.



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