MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The Louisiana Association of United Ways held a press conference to discuss the updated ALICE report for the state. ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income constrained and employed.

According to reports, 51% of families cannot afford life’s basic necessities. The association says part of the problem stems from an imbalance between earnings and the cost of life’s necessities. Reports from 2021 show that black, young, and single-parent households were more likely to be ALICE households due to systematic issues. 

Most ALICE households deal with food insufficiency, struggle with paying bills, lack of emergency savings, and healthcare disparities. Reports also say families that are within or below the threshold are most common in rural areas.

The president of United Way of Northeast Louisiana says the number of ALICE families has climbed for the area alone. 

Numbers went up significantly in Northeast Louisiana. Two years ago, when this report was done, 57% of our population is at ALICE or below the threshold. With today’s release the number is very disheartening; 60 % of our population is at ALICE survival budget or below.

Janet Durden, United Way of NELA

The United Way of Northeast Louisiana offers resources for families who may fall into this category.

Alot of our banks came together and they are willing to offer education classes. We have a financial counselor that is free; they help people figure out their budget, how to balance their budget and how to live within what they make. If you go to the United Way Facebook page, our website or call 211, we’re having classes on savings, we’ll be having things on reducing your debt or increasing your credit score or building assets.

Janet Durden, United Way of NELA