News Department

Struggling workers can apply for COVID-19 ALICE recovery funds

NEW JERSEY – Low and moderate income workers in northern New Jersey who have experienced a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply online for emergency financial assistance at UnitedWayNNJ.org/ALICErecovery.

The ALICE Recovery Fund was established by United Way of Northern New Jersey in partnership with United Way of Hunterdon County to address emerging needs of ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households and those in poverty in response to the pandemic.

“At United Way, we are committed to getting financial assistance into the hands of our most vulnerable ALICE neighbors — many of whom are on the front lines of this crisis as our supermarket workers, home health aides, office cleaning staff, and child care teachers,” United Way of Northern New Jersey CEO Kiran Gaudioso said.

“While helpful, the federal stimulus funding will not cover the basics for ALICE families in our high cost state and United Way is dedicated to protecting the financial, physical and mental health of these essential workers. We are hoping for additional support from the community, we want to help as many people and families as possible,” United Way of Hunterdon County CEO Bonnie Duncan said.

Eligible households will receive a minimum financial award of $500. The Fund is strictly limited to assisting residents of Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Suburban Essex, Sussex and Warren counties. (Suburban Essex includes the Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Millburn-Short Hills, Montclair, Roseland and Verona.)

Applicants will need to provide documentation that their household income qualifies as falling below the ALICE Threshold prior to the pandemic. In addition, applicants must show a loss of income due to the pandemic, beginning February 1, 2020.

The income guidelines are as follows:

  • Single adults must have had an annual income below $35,560 without dependents or no more than $88,128 with two or more dependents.
  • Two adult households must have had an annual income below $52,444 without dependents or no more than $103,836 with two or more dependents.

“United Way’s ALICE research shows that nearly 30 percent of households in the communities served by this Fund struggled to afford the basics even before COVID-19 hit, and we expect more will become ALICE because of the magnitude of this pandemic,” Gaudioso said.

“ALICE households have been hit hard by this pandemic as many of these workers did not earn enough to have established savings and did not have basic employee protections — such as an annual salary, adequate health care coverage and access to other benefits to help them withstand this prolonged crisis,” Duncan said.

The Fund was launched with a generous seed donation from the New York Jets. Top philanthropic community leaders ExxonMobil and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have also joined the effort, recognizing the importance of supporting local ALICE families.

As the need is great, United Way asks that anyone who can afford to donate, perhaps sharing part of your stimulus check if you are still able to work, please consider making a tax-deductible gift to the Fund. The more we raise, the more we can assist ALICE families. Donations can be made to the ALICE Recovery Fund online at UnitedWayNNJ.org/ALICErecovery.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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