Working poor: Hurricane Laura’s lasting effects on ALICE families

Three weeks after Hurricane Laura and many families across Cenla are struggling.
Three weeks after Hurricane Laura and many families across Cenla are struggling.(KALB)
Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 4:44 PM EDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Three weeks after Hurricane Laura, many families across Cenla are struggling.

For the 19 percent of people living in poverty across the state, the hurricane has had major implications on their finances.

For another group of people that fall under what’s known as the ALICE threshold, which stands for Asset Limited Income Constrained and Employed, these individuals are part of the working class but don’t have enough to get by.

So when a natural disaster like Laura happens, these individuals face serious setbacks.

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, United Way of Central Louisiana President and CEO David Britt tells us more and more people are falling into the ALICE category at an alarming rate.

“The hurricane, the pandemic, a lot of households were thrown out of work, a lot of the ALICE thresholds, people who were working in restaurants or service industries of some sort, well they can’t function if people can’t come in so they lose their jobs for a time. The unemployment helped for a time but that has gone away so we have families who are struggling even more because of the pandemic and now with the hurricane, they may have had expenses, you know, they lost food out of the freezer or refrigerator, they had damage to their house or you know, their car, whatever it might be. So it just puts an additional burden on the ALICE families in particular.”

United Way on Central Louisiana President and CEO David Britt

Britt tells us there aren’t enough available resources across Cenla to help all of the people who fall under the ALICE threshold.

According to the last report done by the United Way, which includes data for 2018, just under 50 percent of people here in Rapides Parish are in the ALICE category.

Related: Working Poor: ALICE report paints grim reality for Louisiana families

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