Report shows how many people are struggling financially in Eau Claire County

Eau Claire County (WQOW)- New data shows just how many people are living in poverty, or close to it, in Eau Claire County.

Fourteen percent of Eau Claire County families live in poverty, while 28 percent are categorized as asset-limited, income-constrained and employed, or ALICE.

These are people who have jobs, they’re making above the federal poverty line, but it’s just not enough to live without some tough decisions. 

Executive Director of United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley, Jan Porath said this means 42 percent of people in Eau Claire County are struggling financially. 

An individual categorized as ALICE would make about $19,000 a year.

For families, the federal poverty line is about $25,000 a year to support a family of four. 

That’s supposed to cover basic necessities like housing, food, transportation and healthcare with no savings.  

"Some of the decisions that they have to make really are troubling," Porath said. "Some of these families need to decide whether or not they’re going to put gas in their car to make sure they get to work the next day, or are they going to fill their prescription medication for their diabetes? Are they going to go grocery shopping? Do they have the funds to go grocery shopping?"

More than 870,000 Wisconsin households fall under the ALICE or poverty threshold, including 1/3 of all Wisconsin households that have children. 

For the full report click here.

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