Report: 25 Percent of Jefferson County Households Struggling to Survive


JEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) – A report recently released by the United Way indicates that 25 percent of Jefferson County households are struggling to pay for the essentials.

The United Way of Pa. and regional partners recently released a report that shows that 1.2 million Pennsylvania households earn more than the federal poverty level but still not enough to pay for essentials such as housing, food, transportation, and child care.

When the numbers of households that live below the federal poverty level are added, the result is 1.8 million, or 37 percent, of Pennsylvania households are struggling to survive.

The ALICE® report, which stands for Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed, is an initiative of the Pennsylvania network of United Ways to raise awareness of the challenges faced by working families and to mobilize organizations and individuals who want to support strategies and policies that move ALICE along their journey to financial stability.

The Dubois Area United Way, which also serves Jefferson County, is committed to helping in the communities they serve.

“The DuBois Area United Way is pleased to help in all of the communities we serve,” Herm Suplizio, Executive Director for the DuBois Area United Way, told ExploreJeffersonPA.com.

“We help all of the less fortunate in our area, including feeding the hungry with a food pantry, or multiple other things. We’re here to serve the community and specialize in helping the less fortunate in our area.”

UWP’s report defines the cost of a bare-minimum household budget for each county in the state. Referred to as the survival budget, it is not sustainable, but is a more realistic measure than the federal poverty level. Any Pennsylvanian who is not earning enough to afford the survival budget is ALICE®. Even those who earn more than the cost of the household survival budget are at risk, and the ALICE stability budget is a representation of a sustainable family budget in the modern economy, with a few extras and a 10-percent savings commitment every month.

Additional data highlights revealed by the research include:

    • Twenty-five Percent of Jefferson County, with available data, of households living at an income below the ALICE survival threshold.
    • The national inflation rate from 2007-2017 was 22 percent, but the cost of the bare-minimum family budget increased by 33 percent, and the bare minimum single adult budget by 26 percent over that same time period. During that 10-year period, Pennsylvanians’ median income increased by only 20 percent.
    • In order for a household consisting of two adults and two school-age children to afford basic housing their annual income would have to be $46,654. However, over 4,000 of Jefferson County’s 18,452 households fall below the ALICE survival budget and do not meet these income requirements.

The full report, an interactive map, the ALICE experience, and more are available at www.uwp.org/alice.


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