Nearly half of the households in La Crosse county
are struggling to afford basic necessities.
A study conducted by the United Way of Wisconsin exposes
the alarming reality in our community.
News 8's Sarah Thamer joins
us now with the details...Sarah?
The study is conducted through the ALICE initiative,
which stands for Asset Limited Income Restrained Employed.
It found 11 percent of la crosse county households
live in poverty..while 32 percent fall under the ALICE
threshold...which means people may be earning an income
above the federal poverty level..but they're still
struggling to afford basic necessities like healthcare,
transportation and food.
NAT sound washing dishes.
From the outside, Meme Maholovic and her family may
seem like they're earning a salary big enough to take
them on vacations.
But a hard reality in La Crosse, hits close to home
for the Maholovic family.
If you have to choose between paying a bill and putting
food on the table, that bill is gonna win out because
you dont wanna lose your house you dont wanna lose
A study conducted by the United Way of wisconsin found
that 43 percent of households in the la crosse county
are experiencing financial struggles.
These are people that have full time jobs, that are
working hard that are taking care kids if they have
kids, but struggle to maintain a household that meets
all the bills.
And that's exactly the case for Meme, whose son was
diagnosed with autism at the age of seven, and medical
bills, added to their list of challenges.
you have his med checks which happen every two to
three months depending on the doctor so at the time
he was still seeing a pediatrician and that bill was
And even though Meme and her husband are both working
full-time jobs, United Way officials say there are
specific guidelines that need to be met in order to
meet the ALICE threshold.
They make enough money to not be in poverty but they
make too much money to fall into where government
services might apply.
Meme and her husband are both making around 19 dollars
an hour, but her husbands nursing hours aren't always
guaranteed and she says it's just enough money to
be able to support their families basic needs.
You're just at that cusp, you know, one wrong move
and the dominos will fall.
United Way officials say on a survival budget in la
crosse, a person with no children must make at least
10 dollars and 90 cents an hour to be able to pay
just the bare minimum of bills.
This doesn't include savings.
And for a family with two children, they must be making
at least 27 dollars an hour to afford child care and
People who are experiencing financial insecurity can
call 2-1-1 to be connected with an agency or resource
that may help.