ALICE IN SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA
Between 2007 and 2018, Louisiana experienced steady economic improvements according to traditional measures. Unemployment in the state, as well as across the U.S., fell to historic lows, GDP
grew, and wages rose slightly. Yet in 2018, 51% of households still struggled to make ends meet. While 18% of these struggling households were living below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL),
another 33% were ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These households earned above the FPL, but not enough to afford basic household necessities.
In Southwest Louisiana, 50 percent of the households that make up Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis Parishes are living at or below the ALICE Threshold. Eighteen towns and cities across the region, including the largest - Lake Charles, have at least 40% of households
struggling to make ends meet.
So, what are we going to do about it? We know that the first step is introducing ALICE to the community. By placing this report at the center of tables in Southwest Louisiana - coffee
tables, dinner tables and even policy tables - we hope to spark the dialogue and encourage the conversation needed to help begin the process of moving families and individuals above the ALICE
While there are United Way of Southwest Louisiana programs that currently serve the ALICE population, like VITA, FamilyWize, WriteStart Project and Dolly Parton's Imagination
Library, we hope to use the United Way ALICE Report as a guide for future programming and community partnerships.