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Lift Michiganders Up

Lift families above ALICE and provide child care access and affordability

Every person who has a job, should be able to earn enough to make ends meet. To lift families above the ALICE threshold, we will have to put more money into the hands of working people. But raising incomes will not solve the issues alone. We must find ways to decrease the costs that put stress of family budgets such as child care, broadband and housing. 

What is ALICE? 

"ALICE, an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, is a new way of defining and understanding the struggles of households that earn above the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford a bare-bones household budget." - United Way 

The ALICE population, a measuring of working poverty, increased by 258,000 to over 1 million households from 2007-2019. 


Child care is the top source of cost for ALICE families with children. Housing is the top cost for ALICE households without children. 

household budgets chart

  • Ambitious: A 10% reduction in ALICE households would not only eliminate the increase in ALICE households we saw in the 2010s (~60,000), but it would start Michigan on reversing the damage of the great recession and pandemic.  
  • Attainable: The MI New Economy strategy has bold goals that directly impact major cost drivers - child care and housing. Through coordinated action, and substantial federal assistance, the State of Michigan should be able to attain this goal.