Consider this: 46% of Florida households and 45% of Charlotte County households are walking a financial tightrope. They are working hard, but falling short of what they need to consistently cover the basic costs of living. Unable to save for the future, they are vulnerable to a single emergency that can push them into crisis and even poverty.ALICE® refers to the population in our communities that are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The ALICE® population represents those among us who are working, but due to childcare costs, transportation challenges, high cost of living and so much more are living paycheck to paycheck. Learn more below:
In August 2012, the United Way of Charlotte County, Charlotte County Human Services and the Charlotte County Community Foundation formed a partnership to conduct a community needs assessment. The partnership was formed after the three agencies noted a significant increase in community need, particularly since the economic recession began in 2007.
A comprehensive study, such as this one, has not been conducted in more than ten years. In that time Charlotte County was deeply affected by the hurricanes of 2004, and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. As such, the community saw a significant loss of jobs in the community, in particular, the construction industry, and an increase in those living at or below the poverty line.
The purpose of this study was to help identify the most significant needs within the community and to identify the gaps in services being offered. At a time when funding cuts are the norm, it is crucial that the resources available are directed towards the community's greatest needs and towards programs that will have the greatest impact on all citizens.