42% of year-round households in Monroe County struggle to pay for basic needs such as housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and technology according to the 2018 ALICE Report. Statewide, 46% of households face similar financial challenges. In Monroe County, the percentage of low-income workers struggling to cover essentials has decreased for the third consecutive study from 48% to 46% to 42%.
- The biggest driver of the budget in Monroe County is the high cost of housing. Even based on the survival budget’s use of 40% of fair market value for a single efficiency unit, housing accounted for 44% of a single person’s monthly budget at $999.
- 54% of Florida Keys families with children are considered ALICE or are living below the federal poverty line.
- State-wide, wages have not increased to compensate for the rising costs of living. In Florida, 67% of jobs pay less than $20 hourly yet $27 per hour is needed to cover the basics costs of living according to the state-wide Florida survival budget.
- Stock Island has the highest percentage of combined ALICE and poverty level families at 63%, followed by Tavernier (54%) and Marathon (53%). The lowest percentage was North Key Largo at 22%.
Who is ALICE?
Bahama Village Music Program, one of UWFK's nonprofit partner agencies, shared the following story about an ALICE family they serve.“One of Bahama Village Music Program’s star students is from one of our most economically strained families. ‘Jade’ is one of two children being raised by a hardworking, single mother who is employed as a home health aide. Every day after school, ‘Jade’ attends BVMP programs. She is a multi-instrumentalist, playing the piano and saxophone, and is always the first to help others with their instruments,” says Katchen Duncan, BVMP Executive Director.“‘Jade’ and her family are very dedicated to her future, but just need a little extra to get by and that is where United Way of Florida Keys comes in. Thanks to UWFK funding, BVMP is able to offer a safe, clean after school environment for students like ‘Jade’ to flourish and realize her full potential.”
Florida is one of 18 states that have ALICE reports published. For the FULL REPORT, state or county-level ALICE data or to find county-by-county survival and stability budgets for six family sizes, visit UnitedWayALICE.org/Florida.