Report: Over half of NWLA residents struggle to make a living

Published: Jan. 8, 2019 at 7:54 AM CST
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(KSLA) - A new report released by a Louisiana agency sheds a light on challenges that some households face.

The ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report by Louisiana Association of United Ways, in partnership with Louisiana United Ways takes a look at residents that are employed at low-paying jobs, have little or no savings and are one emergency from falling into poverty.

More than half of people living in Northwest Louisiana are in poverty or considered ALICE, which is above the state average,” said Dr. Bruce Willson, UWNWLA President/CEO, in a news release. “Our hardworking families are faced with challenges and financial hardship because they can’t afford their basic needs. That’s why this updated ALICE report is a crucial tool to gauge where the work and services are needed most.”

Other Statistics show that

  • 52 percent of households could not afford basic needs like housing, child care, food, transportation, health care and technology
  • ALICE households earn above the poverty level, but below the Household Survival Budget (as designated for the report). Childcare was typically the most costly expense, averaging $975 per month for two children by licensed and accredited childcare in the region.
  • The average Household Surivial Budget (created for the ALICE report) for a Louisiana family of four increased from the last ALICE report to $53,998. That number is higher thatn the federally recognized family poverty level of $24,300. 
  • For single people, the single Household Survival Budget is $19,548 with the poverty level set at $11,880.

“There are so many Louisiana families walking their personal economic tight ropes with courage, grit and hope,” said Sarah Berthelot, President/CEO of Louisiana Association of United Ways. “However, without the ability to get ahead, they are vulnerable — one setback, one illness, one natural disaster or even one car repair can take away any and all security ALICE has worked to sustain. Until the arrival of the ALICE Project in Louisiana, these hardworking Louisianans were an invisible group.”

For a look at the full report, click here.

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