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37% of Quad Citizens Struggle to Afford Basics

In the Quad Cities, 37% of families are unable to afford cost of living expenses, according to the updated United Way ALICE Report. This number is an increase over the 33% of ALICE families in the Quad Cities reported in 2016.

The Quad Citizens designated as “ALICE” (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) are individuals who work at low-paying jobs, have little or no savings, and are one emergency away from falling into poverty. ALICE are those individuals who are working and earning, but are still not able to afford a basic needs budget in the county in which they live. These are often workers in “maintainer” jobs that fill needs in our communities including child and senior caregiving, service sector positions, clerical and custodial positions, along with a host of other occupations that we rely on every day. These members of our community are typically missed in traditional measures of poverty. 

In the Quad Cities, 13% of Scott County and 14% of Rock Island County residents live below the Federal Poverty Level. The ALICE Report shows that an additional 25% of Scott County and 22% of Rock Island County residents are unable to afford life’s basic necessities of housing, transportation, food, health care, and child care, despite having income above the Federal Poverty Level designation. Read more about the ALICE Report

What decisions would you make given limited resources? We challenge you to put yourself in the shoes of a typical family who is scrambling to pay their bills. In other words, these families are working, earning, and paying taxes, but each month have a hard time making ends meet. Please take a few minutes to experience some of the tough choices these families have to make every single day to reach the end of each month, through the Making Touch Choices simulator.