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Who is ALICE?

ALICE is a hardworking community member. Sometimes ALICE works two or more jobs and takes on several side hustles or projects.

ALICE earns above the Federal Poverty Level.

But ALICE lives with constant fear of financial ruin.

Odds are that you interact with ALICE every day. ALICE is your child care worker, a parent surviving on Social Security, the cashier at your supermarket, the salesperson at the store, your waitress, a home health aide, an office clerk and the list goes on.

In Central Florida, 350,000 households are struggling to make ends meet. In Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, 46% of families are living on the verge of financial disaster, according to the 2018 ALICE Report.

ALICE cannot always pay the bills, has little or nothing in savings and is forced to make tough choices like deciding between quality child care or paying the rent. One unexpected car repair or medical bill can push these financially strapped families over the edge.

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ALICE in Florida

Supporting ALICE

The ALICE Fund

The ALICE Fund provides one-time emergency assistance to vulnerable low-income and income-constrained households.  We anticipate assisting 400 families this year through the fund.   This fund is just one of the many ways that Heart of Florida United Way is supporting one of the largest populations, at nearly 50%, in our community. To learn more about the State of our Families visit: https://www.hfuw.org/the-state-of-our-families/

The ALICE Coalition

The ALICE Coalition is comprised of businesses and corporations who are taking a stand to address the unique needs of the ALICE population. When an unexpected emergency arises, these corporate partners provide programs that ensure that families do not fall into financial ruin. Whether it’s part of a corporate social responsibility goal or propelling the workforce forward toward a better life, the ALICE Coalition is ready to make a difference in the lives of Central Floridians. To learn more about the State of our Families visit: https://www.hfuw.org/the-state-of-our-families/


About the ALICE Report

The ALICE Report examines the minimum cost of living in Central Florida, or a survival budget, based on housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and necessary technology in order to identify who is surviving at this level. The ALICE Report provides a more accurate picture of financial insecurity at the state, county, and municipal level and is a more accurate alternative to the outdated Federal Poverty Level, which grossly underestimates the number of struggling families in our community.

The basic survival budget for ALICE involves the cost of housing, food, transportation and other absolute necessities. However, it does not allow for putting money into a savings account or having a cushion for unexpected expenses. It essentially covers the cost to survive paycheck-to-paycheck.

ALICE in Central Florida

Orange County

Total population: 468,515 households

Households at Federal Poverty Level: 16%

Households at ALICE Level: 31%

Household Survival Budget for Orange County

Single adult: $22,872 annually

Family of four: $58,056 annually

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ALICE in Orange County

Osceola County

Total population: 97,569 households

Households at Federal Poverty Level: 15%

Households at ALICE Level: 42%

Household Survival Budget for Osceola County

Single adult: $22,872 annually

Family of four: $56,088 annually

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ALICE in Osceola County

Seminole County

Total population: 167,549 households

Households at Federal Poverty Level: 12%

Households at ALICE Level: 27%

Household Survival Budget for Seminole County

Single adult: $22,872 annually

Family of four: $58,392 annually

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ALICE in Seminole County

Key Findings from the ALICE Report

  • Households continue to struggle. 340,160 of the tri-county area’s 733,633 households (46 percent) are ALICE. In Florida, the number of ALICE households increased from 29 percent in 2014 to 32 percent in 2016.
  • The increase in number of ALICE households is driven by older households, both senior and those 45 to 64 years old. The number of senior households increased from 1.9 million in 2010 to 2.4 million in 2016, a 22 percent increase. Households headed by 45- to 64-year-olds grew by 4 percent, yet the number of these households with income below the ALICE Threshold increased by 10 percent.
  • Florida’s average survival budget for a family of four has increased by 20 percent from 2010 to 2016 to $55,164.
  • While unemployment is considerably low and the number of jobs in Florida increased from 7.1 million in 2010 to 8.2 million in 2016, 67% of jobs pay less than $20 an hour, with almost three-quarters of those jobs paying less than $15 per hour.
  • At least 47% of Floridians do not have money set aside to cover expenses for three months in case of illness or the loss of a job.
  • The majority of residents under the age of 25 are unable to afford to live on their own, and for both economic and cultural reasons are delaying getting married, having children or moving for new job opportunities.
  • More seniors are aging without saving for retirement.
  • There is a deficit of more than 309,000 affordable housing units across the state. Due to of this shortage, more households are burdened by the cost of housing.
  • Technology has become a part of everyday life, and smartphones today are an expectation for employment. The Household Survival Budget now includes the cost of a smartphone for each adult.

Resources to Learn More

Heart of Florida United Way works with partners in many ways to empower ALICE households and keep people from falling into poverty. For information about what community resources are available, connect with United Way’s 2-1-1 Information and Referral Crisisline by dialing 2-1-1, texting your zip code to 898-211 or click here to chat with a 2-1-1 Specialist.

If you would be interested in having a United Way representative present to your group about ALICE and the findings of this report, email us here.

Wonder what it’s like to live like ALICE? Click here to take an interactive walk in ALICE’s shoes.

Click here to view the ALICE Project website.
You will find statewide ALICE data for Florida and can dive deeper for information on a county-wide level.

To produce the ALICE Report for Florida, a team of researchers collaborated with a Research Advisory Committee, composed of 26 representatives from across Florida, who advised and contributed to the report. Sources include the American Community Survey, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, the Tax Foundation and the Florida Department of Education.

Contact Us
407-835-0900407-835-0900 | hfuwcontact@hfuw.org |

Heart of Florida United Way, 1940 Traylor Blvd, Orlando, FL 32804

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