Maui News

Report: Nearly One in Two Households Unable to Pay for Basic Needs

January 10, 2018, 8:02 AM HST
* Updated January 10, 12:33 PM
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Aloha United Way, with the help of sponsors, Bank of Hawai’i, Hawai’i Community Foundation and Kamehameha Schools, released its United Way ALICE Report – Hawai’i during a press conference at the Capitol.

L-R: Lauren Nahme, Kamehameha Schools; Cindy Adams, Aloha United Way; Dr.Virginia Pressler, Department of Health; and Zi Jun Liu, McKinley High School senior, present the United Way ALICE Report – Hawai’i

The Press conference was attended by top business executives as well as Department of Health director, Virginia Pressler.

ALICE is a United Way acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed and represents hardworking people we interact with every day. They are the people of our community who are child care providers, wait staff, cashiers, teaching assistants, and others that work one, two or even three jobs yet still remain only one crisis away from being at greater risk of chronic health issues or loss of housing.

Courtesy image.

According to the report, ALICE have income above the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford basic necessities including housing, child care, food, transportation, and health care.

In Hawai’i, there are 165,013 ALICE households (37% of total households) while another 47,066 households, (11% of total households), live below the Federal Poverty Level. In total, 48% of Hawai’i households are ALICE and below.


The report states that the consequences to the community include increased health care and infrastructure costs, increased employee absenteeism, higher insurance premiums, reduced economic productivity, and much more.


“ALICE individuals and families constitute over one-third of Hawai’i’s population, and it is essential to the well-being of our state that we recognize their presence, acknowledge their struggles, and offer support and services that will help,” said Cindy Adams, President and CEO of Aloha United Way. “The Report allows us to identify their challenges and, through cross-sector coalition-building, work toward solutions that are effective, sustainable and long-lasting.”

This Report is a call to action to inform statewide policy, philanthropy and allocation of resources.

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