Connecticut United Ways show new data from ALICE report on cost of Living in CT

There’s new data out today and it’s not good for Connecticut’s working families.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 6:11 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) - There’s new data out today and it’s not good for Connecticut’s working families.

These are families that are working sometimes more than one job, yet they are living paycheck to check.

The shelves at the Amazing Grace food pantry are constantly being stocked these days there is big demand.

“We are seeing is a lot of the middle class is starting to fill in the gaps here,” said Peter Keast from Amazing Grace Food Pantry.

“They will stop here and get bread, eggs and milk or fresh produce and then they’ll head to the grocery store.”

Amazing Grace helps between 600 and 800 families a month; the cost of food and everything else keeps going up but they’re wage stay the same.

“These are people who are employed,” said Lisa Tepper Bates, President of United Way of CT. “ALICE are our friends, our neighbors, our family members.”

“Alice” stands for asset-limited-income-constrained and employed.

The United Way of CT said 60% of the 20 most common jobs pay less than $20/hour, that’s $40,000/year.

They make a little too much to qualify for state health insurance and other benefits.

Data showed a family of four needs $126,000 a year to survive.

“I would go two or three months and not pay gas bill to catch up and pay electric bill,” said Jessica Vargas, a single mother from New Britain. “I couldn’t understand why I had to go through so many hurdles to get the help they needed.”

It’s hard for Hadassah Valez, a single mom from Manchester, to talk about how much she struggles to raise her 2-year-old daughter.

“Sometimes I either choose to pay for what the household needs, what my daughter needs over fixing my car,” said Valez.