Working Poor Households Struggle to Meet Basic Needs

A report finds about 40 percent of households in Michigan struggle to afford basic necessities.

Despite the combination of wages and public assistance, working poor households still face about a 14 percent income gap in order to reach financial stability.

The report is called the ALICE Project. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed and refers to the working poor class. 

The Michigan Association of United Ways’ President and CEO Scott Dzurka says one of the two major barriers for these families is child care.  

“The challenges of not only finding child care but then the challenge of how much that child care costs and the difficulty for a family as to whether or not there is increased value to go back to work or to stay home and care for your kids,” Dzurka says. 

Dzurka says the other barrier is finding affordable, quality housing near job sites.

The report classifies about 29 percent of households in Detroit as “working poor.”