These choices aren’t about luxury and indulgence—this is about survival. It’s about putting food on the table or having a roof over your head... finding reliable childcare or having proper heat in the winter... getting to work or taking vital medication that enables you to work at all.
A Communal Problem
United Way's ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) profile tells us that nearly 24,000 households in McLean County struggle financially. They are often referred to as the working poor.
Since the pandemic, ALICE Households in McLean County have seen a 41% increase.
But household poverty isn't just a household problem. Poverty is communal, and we bear the burdens of it through increasing rates of unemployment, crime, truma, failing health, emotional instability, housing insecurity, and economic depression.
These are hard-working families—many with women as the head of household—that can’t move up the income ladder. They are actually sliding deeper into poverty with each passing year.
And even more concerning? The number of McLean County households falling into this financial gap is growing.
McLean County and its residents will struggle, or flourish, together.
Adults, youth, and families in McLean County are stuggling and falling through service gaps. Traditional models and approaches used to combat poverty are no longer effective, which is why we need a holistic, innovative solution.