Chenango United Way leads effort to help the ‘working poor’

Shawn Magrath

Sun Staff Writer

NORWICH – The Chenango United Way is leading a charge to help the working poor– a demographic the organization says is growing in Chenango County.

In 2016, the Chenango United Way banded with United Way organizations across the state to identify households that are financially burdened but not receiving public assistance. The group, labeled ALICE for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, makes up nearly 30 percent of Chenango households, according to data research from the United Way.

Income in those ALICE households are in a tough gap between poverty and the basic cost of living.

In Chenango County, communities like Guilford, Norwich, and New Berlin are at great risk with a combined poverty and ALICE populace between 55 and 60 percent.

“The misconception is that the poverty group is the largest population in our community, but it’s not. It’s the ALICE population,” explained Chenango UW Director Elizabeth Monaco. “These are people who have to choose between paying rent and buying groceries, or paying for a shut-off notice and paying for child care. They are individuals who are working, but still struggling to make ends meet.”

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