Alice Project

United Way ALICE Project

The United Way ALICE Project provides a framework, language and tools to measure and understand the struggles of the growing number of households in our communities that do not earn enough to afford basic necessities: a population called ALICE. This research initiative partners with state United Way organizations to present data that can stimulate meaningful discussion, attract new partners and ultimately inform strategies that effect positive change.


With the cost of living higher than what most people earn, ALICE families – an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed – have income above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), but not high enough to afford a basic household budget that includes housing, child care, food, transportation and health care. ALICE households live in every county in Ohio – urban, suburban and rural – and they include women and men, young and old, of all races and ethnicities.


While the Federal Poverty Level reports that 14 percent of Ohio households faced financial hardship in 2015, an additional 26 percent (1.2 million households) qualified as ALICE.


The ALICE Report reveals that United Way of Greater Cleveland and its partner United Ways in Geauga and Medina counties are similarly affected by the statewide numbers, while also showing that rural areas can be as affected by this issue as urban and suburban areas.

As an example, of the 1.8 million households in Ohio that are unable to afford the state’s cost of living, with conditions still lagging behind pre-recession levels, 272,000 of those households are in Cuyahoga, Geauga and Medina counties.

How does ALICE connect with United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Community Assessment?

In 2016, United Way of Greater Cleveland embarked on an in-depth, rigorous assessment on the needs of those living in Cuyahoga County. It was formally released to the public at a community forum at The City Club of Cleveland on July 20, 2017. The presentation revealed a wide spectrum of sobering statistics regarding issues facing Greater Clevelanders and people throughout Cuyahoga County, including: poverty, homelessness, infant mortality, education and graduation rates and household income.

The ALICE Report is a project that helps substantiate, from a state-level, our work on a countywide level and clearly identifies poverty as a critical need that we must use our collective resources to help remedy.

Learn more about our Community Assessment 

Download the reports below to learn more:

View the Ohio Report  Download the Cuyahoga County Report Download the Geauga County Report  Download the Medina County Report

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