My career in the Hudson Valley has been in serving in various positions in community and economic development, both public and private sector, and so I read with interest the United Way’s ALICE Report for New York to assess financial hardships facing families living in several localities in the Hudson Valley (Employed But Still Struggling?, Jan. 6). ALICE stands for asset-limited, income-constrained, employed — that is, households that don’t earn enough to make ends meet, have little savings and are “one small emergency away from a major financial crisis,” according to the report.
The Current shared the numbers from Putnam and Dutchess counties, but to bring it closer to home, I offer the following overview and stats for Philipstown, Nelsonville and Cold Spring extracted from the 311-page report, which is online at unitedwayalice.org. It shows that almost a third of our population is struggling.
I am a vice president of the Lions Club of Cold Spring, and we are studying the data to better understand the needs and stresses of folks living in our village and town and how best to serve those most stressed. The report should be required reading for educators, families and teenagers to understand how decisions about education will and can affect earning capacity. It also is an excellent tool for businesses to review as well as policy makers whose decisions affect every aspect of our lives locally and in the state.
Teri Waivada, Garrison
What It Takes
According to the United Way’s ALICE report, these bare-minimum budgets do not allow for savings and afford “only a very modest living in each community.” Still, it notes, the budgets are far more than the U.S. poverty level of $11,670 annually for a single adult and $23,850 for a family of four.