ALICE® is a United Way acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed and represents those individuals and families who are working but still struggling to make ends meet.
Your child care worker, the cashier at your supermarket, the salesperson at your big box store, your waitress, a home health aide, an office clerk... anyone can be living under the ALICE threshold. These families cannot always pay the bills, have little or nothing to put into savings and are forced to make tough choices such as deciding between quality child care or paying the rent. One unexpected car repair or medical bill can push these financially strapped families over the edge.
Pay for a vital prescription or the utility bill to keep the power on?
Pay the rent or a needed car repair so you can drive to get to work?
Help Rappahannock United Way support local ALICE families facing these difficult choices. In addition to free tax preparation and financial coaching services we also offer financial assistance to cover the costs of housing and expenses that threaten to derail financial stability.
How the ALICE Assistance Fund Helps
A single young lady was unfortunately involved in a very serious car accident and was hospitalized for three weeks. Her employer does not provide paid sick leave so she had no income during her recovery. She exhausted her savings to pay bills and returned to work, but without savings she had no funds to carry her through - or pay her rent - until her first paycheck arrived. The ALICE Assistance Fund at Rappahannock United Way was able to pay one month's rent, allowing her to begin to get caught up. Fully recovered and back to work, she's also back to financial stability.
A hard working family who has always been completely self-sufficient and never had to seek help before found themselves out of work during the recent government shutdown. During the shutdown the family exhausted all of the emergency savings they had to keep up with rent and all other bills. Unfortunately they eventually fell behind on rent, accruing late fees and penalties. Although government employees received back pay, one of the earners in the family was a contractor and will never receive any back pay. They have paid off all that they can but were still behind on rent and in danger of being evicted. Rappahannock United Way was able to cover the missed rent check to help them get caught up. The family avoided eviction and is now working to build back up their emergency savings for whatever the future might bring.
A single parent working full time was left stranded when her only vehicle broke down at the side of the road. The car was towed to a local car place and repaired but they needed payment of the bill in full before they would release the car. Although the family was managing to maintain financial stability long term they did not earn enough to put any funds away for a rainy day and therefore the bill was more than this family could afford to pay in one lump sum. As a short term stop-gap the mother was using Uber to get to work every day so that she didn’t lose her job and her only source of income – this was costing between $20 and $30 per day! Rappahannock United Way was able to pay the car repair bill in full to allow the family to get back to normal and avoid any further disruption to their finances.
As of 3/27/20
Help for Individuals & Families
If you are currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless please call (540) 358-5801 for free and confidential assistance. This 24/7 helpline can connect you to all local resources and assistance relating to housing and shelter services.
This is a service available to anyone needing help, especially in times of crisis. It offers free access to information and referrals for health and human services.