Find info on the ALICE study of financial hardship, the Homeless Count, and Adverse Community Environments below.
In 2018 in Central Oregon, nearly 37,500 of our 97,000 households in Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson Counties were living on the edge before COVID-19. That’s 38.5%.
10,500 households were living below the federal poverty level. Another nearly 27,000 were “ALICE” households. ALICE describes households that earn incomes above the federal poverty level, but less than what it takes to survive in their community.
We rely on ALICE. They are essential workers and they were already living paycheck to paycheck in 2018.
ALICE families are facing the greatest health and financial risks today. Many don’t have health insurance, paid sick days, and have children who receive daily meals through school.
Over the last 10 years, wages for ALICE workers stayed the same, but the cost of essentials grew twice as much as inflation.
Regardless of how much or how hard ALICE families worked, the cost of the basics kept growing faster than their wages. The state of emergency created by COVID-19 pushed these already fragile ALICE households into an even deeper financial hold.
Many did not recover from the great recession. In fact more families were experiencing financial hardship than ever before. And then the COVID-19 Pandemic hit.
We can do better this time around. We can recover from this recession in a way that works to fix the huge racial and economic inequities in our region in ways we’ve never dared before.
We at United Way in Central Oregon are acting immediately to address the unique challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted on Central Oregon ALICE families and business. Learn about our COVID-19 Recovery & Resilience efforts here.
You can learn more about ALICE, county by county and household by household, in the latest ALICE Report, which we commissioned with other United Ways in the Pacific Northwest. “ALICE” stands for “Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.”
You can find the online interactive ALICE report here.
United Way of Central Oregon is a proud member of the Homeless Leadership Coalition!
Each year, the Homeless Leadership Coalition conducts the Point-In-Time Homeless Count, which provides a snap shot of homelessness in Central Oregon then night of January 29 , 2020.
There were 969 individuals who people who were experiencing homelessness, in transitional housing, or at-risk of becoming homeless in Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties and the lands of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs who participated in this year’s survey.
That was 10% more than last year – before the pandemic. For a parent with a child, the number was 48% higher and for all children the number was 38% higher than last year, before the pandemic. For the chronically homeless the numbers were also higher: 79% for individuals and 23% for veterans.
Based on the number of unique individuals who visited warming shelters throughout Central Oregon between November 2019 and April 2020, the actual number of people experiencing homelessness in our region at any given time before COVID-19 was about double that number: nearly 2,000.
Since COVID-19, the number may actually be as high as 6,000 people – 6 times higher than that recorded in the Point-In-Time Count. Agencies that serve those who are experiencing homelessness or are precariously housed are reporting a tripling in client interactions, such as meals and other services.
The Count is part of a state and national effort to understand the reasons for homelessness and the barriers people experiencing homeless face in finding appropriate and adequate housing.
These environments include poverty, lack of affordable and safe housing, limited access to healthcare, lack of quality or affordable child care, community violence, ineffective education, systemic discrimination, and lack of opportunity, economic mobility, and social capital.
There is a relationship between adversity within a family and adversity within a community. Adverse Community Environments contribute to Adverse Childhood Experiences. That’s why we refer to Adverse Childhood Experiences (aka ACEs) and Adverse Community Environments (aka ACEs) as the “Pair of ACEs.”
United Way of Central Oregon is operating at multiple levels and scales, at the individual and community level to address the “Pair of ACEs.”
It’s a credo. A mission. A goal. A constant reminder that when we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. We build the strength of our neighborhoods. We bolster the health of our communities. And we change the lives of those who walk by us every day.