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ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.  It’s a new way of defining and understanding the struggles of households that earn above the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford a bare-bones household budget. 

For far too many families in Whitman County, the cost of living outpaces what they earn. These households struggle to manage their most basic needs - housing, food, transportation, child care, health care, and necessary technology.


At the end of the month, ALICE households are forced to make impossible choices, such as deciding between quality child care or paying the rent, filling a prescription or fixing the car. These short-term decisions have long-term consequences not only for ALICE families but for all of us.

Who is ALICE? 

ALICE is your child care worker, the cashier at your supermarket, your single-elderly neighbor, the salesperson at your big box store, your waitress, a home health aide, an office clerk. ALICE cannot always pay the bills, has little or nothing in savings, and is 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.

The future success of our communities is directly tied to the financial stability of these fragile ALICE households.

In 2021, There were 18,010 households in Whitman County:

  • ​28% (5,012 households) lived at or below the Federal Poverty Level

  • 26% (4,745 households) met ALICE income threshold*

  • 46% (8,253 households) were above the ALICE threshold


Therefore over half the households in Whitman County did not earn enough to afford basic necessities –housing, food, healthcare, childcare, transportation

* ALICE Income Threshold for households under 65 years = $50,000;

  65 years and over = $45,000

By comparison: 

In 2021 there were 19,503,678 households in Washington State:

  • ​11% lived at or below the Federal Poverty Level

  • ​22% were ALICE​

  • ​68% were above the ALICE threshold

The focus of the United Way of Whitman County is to support our local Community Partners who work tirelessly to provide quality Education, Financial stability, and access to Health services for ALICE households.

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