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Financial Stability

Across Wisconsin, over a third of households struggle to afford the basic necessities of housing, child care, health care, food, and transportation. 

2018 United Way ALICE Report

Despite recent reports of overall improvemnet in employment and gains in median incomes, the economic recovery in Wisconsin has been uneven. Many families continue to face challenges from low wages, depleted savings, and the increasing cost of basic household goods. The total number of Wisconsin households that cannot afford basic needs increased five percent between 2010 and 2016.

ALICE, an acornym which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, is a way of defining our families, neighbors, and colleagues (men and women) who work hard, earn above the federal poverty level, but not enough to afford a basic household budget. ALICE educates our children, keeps us healthy, and makes our quality of life possible. But these low-wage jobs, often in the service sector, do not pay enough for ALICE to live on. These families are forced to make tough choices, such as deciding between quality childcare or paying the rent, which have long-term consequences for ALICE and our communities. The future success of our communities is directly tied to the financial stability of ALICE households.

This report also shows what has changed in Wisconsin since the first United Way ALICE Report for Wisconsin was published two years ago. It updates the cost of basic needs in the Household Survival Budget for each county in Wisconsin, and the number of households earning below the amount needed to afford that budget (the ALICE Threshold). The report delves deeper into county and municipal data and looks at the demographics of ALICE and poverty-level househoulds by race/ethnicity, age, and household type to reveal variations in hardship that are often masked by state averages. Finally, the report highlights emerging trends that will affect ALICE households in the future. To access the ALICE Report, please visit the Research Center.

United Way ALICE Initiative

The United Way ALICE Initiative is a collaborative research effort identifying and communicatin the needs of the voiceless part of communities; allowing for local change-makers to understand, measure, and advance change to improve the lives of ALICE households, ultimately strenthening our communities.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Our VITA program partners with NWTC-Marinette and utilizes a team of dedicated and professional volunteers to provide FREE tax preparation. Volunteer and student tax preparers work one-on-one with individuals and families to navigate tax returns and  seek out all available tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Free at Home Tax Filing Support

File your taxes for free in the convenience of your own home using Sponsored by United Way and powered by H&R Block, allows individuals or couples filing jointly who make up to $64,000 a year to file their taxes online for free. If you still have questions, call 1-855-MY-TX-HELP (1-855-698-9435)