ALICE households vary across our community from single-parent households, to senior adults, to two-income households. ALICE might be single, married, a parent, or a grandparent. ALICE might be Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, or multiracial.
The common denominator for all ALICE households is that the household income is above the Federal Poverty Line ($12,140 for a single adult and $25,100 for a family of 4). The second common denominator is that the household budget goes entirely to meet basic essentials like housing, child care, food, and transportation. It does not allow for savings for emergencies or future goals like college.
We invite you to meet ALICE. Below are stories of ALICE households in Lubbock County. These are real stories of real people on the South Plains.
I am a single mother. I have three beautiful daughters ages 12, 10, and 8.
During the pandemic, I lost my job.
My middle daughter has a hearing disability in her left ear which makes it hard for her to hear on that side. She hates going anywhere because she thinks other kids will make fun of her.
I came to the Guadalupe-Parkway Neighborhood Centers because my girls met some of the staff at church.
Over the summer, Center staff would come pick up my girls every morning from our apartment. I can’t afford a car and transportation is difficult.
The girls made some new friends and the center also provided my girls with new clothes, shoes, swimsuits, and towels. We hadn’t been able to afford new clothes in a while, so it was big blessing.
Because my girls were being cared for during the day, I didn’t have to worry about leaving them alone so I could go and look for a new job.
Most of all the Guadalupe-Parkway Neighborhood Centers made the kids feel loved. It was a great blessing for my family.
I am 53-years old.
I immigrated to the US in 1994 from Germany. After years of being a homemaker and raising three daughters, I found myself divorced and unable to support myself and my 19-year old daughter, who lives with me and attends Texas Tech.
I had been out of the workforce for decades and thought I had no job skills at all. I also had some medical issues but no health insurance.
I heard Goodwill could help me acquire some of the jobs skills I needed. As I worked with their Employment Specialist, I found myself learning to type, do job searches, apply for jobs online, and how to present myself in an interview. He also helped me discover that I did have skills and I did have work experience as a homemaker.
Goodwill helped me create a strong resume that highlighted skills like scheduling and time management. I received a certificate from South Plains College in basic computer skills which helped me to find employment as a receptionist.
I am grateful to have crossed paths with Goodwill Industries of North West Texas and their Training Placement and Life Skills program. It changed my life. It encouraged me and gave me hope again.
I am a single parent. I have a six-year-old son.
I have a job I love as a teacher’s aide, but my career options are limited by an inoperable spinal condition.
I worry about my son because he is not as active as he should be. My son needs positive role models who are able to do some of the things I can’t because of my medical condition.
A friend encouraged me to look into Big Brothers Big Sisters. My son now has a “Big Brother” who supports him and our family in so many ways. He encourages my son to be more active.
When we enrolled with Big Brothers Big Sisters, I also found out about several other United Way Community Partners. These resources have been invaluable for us, especially the referral to Family Counseling Services.
My medical condition can have a toll on both my mental health and my son’s. Counseling was not affordable previously. But through Family Counseling Services, it is.
We now have the support we need.
I am a nurse.
I have been working non-stop during the pandemic.
I am also a single parent with a very active 10-year-old son.
I had to quarantine at the end of July, so my son had to stay with his grandparents until school started.
I was grateful he was also enrolled at the Boys & Girls Club.
He went to the club every day during the summer. He was safe, he was healthy, and he was having a lot of fun.
It eased my mind knowing that he had a safe and positive place to go that kept him busy while I could not be there.
Even though he was sad that he could not see me every day, the Club gave him some normalcy in his life. It also took a huge burden off my parents.
Without the Boys & Girls Club, our options would have been very limited. I am so grateful that my son was there and for the way the whole staff cared for him while I was unable to.
My husband and I work full-time jobs.
We have two sons.
We are able to drop them off at school before our workday starts, but we cannot leave our jobs in the middle of the afternoon to pick them up when school is out.
My parents are able to help out on some days, but not every day. We do not want them walking home or having to stay home alone until we get off work, but after-school care is just too expensive.
Then we found out that their school offers Y-Care, a program of the YWCA of Lubbock.
With Y-Care, our children can stay at their school until we are able to pick them up. They get their homework done, have a snack, and go outside. One son gets to read and play chess. The other can play kickball and basketball.
Y-Care is an affordable option for our family. If it wasn’t available, we would have difficulty paying our bills and putting food on the table.
My wife and I have a 12-year-old son.
He has mild Autism Spectrum Disorder.
He doesn’t make eye contact well. Verbal communication and social interactions are difficult for him. It’s difficult for him to make friends.
My wife and I both work. Having a child with a developmental disability can be expensive. We aren’t always able to afford activities for him that we know would be beneficial for him.
Last year, our son joined the Boy Scouts. He’s actually in the same troop that I was in when I was a kid.
The leaders took the time to get to know him and learn how to best connect with him. The other boys are respectful and include him in activities.
He is learning to work with others, to accept more responsibility, and to be part of a team.
Boy Scouts is an affordable option for our family that is giving us so much more than we ever expected. My son is making so much progress. We couldn’t be more grateful.
I was a single mom of two.
I never planned to be a single grandma of three, but my daughter needed help and so I took my grandkids in.
I was starting all over again.
I decided to go back to school so I could get a higher paying job and better support my grandchildren. Catholic Charities Parent Empowerment Program made it affordable, helping with books, tuition, and other needs.
I enrolled my grandchildren at the Early Learning Centers and the Boys and Girls Club. Both were affordable options where I knew my grandchildren would learn a lot and be safe while I was at work or school.
Eventually my mother became ill and came to live with us, as well. Catholic Charities Elderly Outreach Program helped us afford her medications.
Without the support of these programs, I don’t know how I would have been able to support my grandchildren and my mom.
I am a single mom.
My daughters are 3 and 1 and are the light of my life.
I was working at a local restaurant while going to school part-time to get my college degree.
My girls were enrolled in a childcare center that was really convenient because it was close to our home, but it cost me about $1,200 a month which is more than my tuition.
When COVID hit, I lost my job. I could no longer afford to send my children to childcare which I still needed so I could look for a new job and continue my schooling.
That’s when I heard about Early Learning Centers. I was shocked when I learned that both of my girls could attend full-time for half of what we were paying. at only $600 a month.
Not only that, they’re getting a great education, hitting milestones, and are going to be ready for kindergarten when the time comes.
Without Early Learning Center’s help, I don’t think we would have made it.