May 2, 2022 (Plymouth, Indiana)In the face of historic inflation, United Way Trusted Community Partners report increased needs in Marshall County from low-income, working households struggling to make ends meet. To show the urgency of the situation and harsh realities over a quarter of Marshall County families face, the United Way of Marshall County released a new poverty simulator earlier today on its agency website.

Currently, 26 percent of all households in Marshall County are ALICE households. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, representing the growing number of hardworking individuals and families who are unable to afford basic necessities of housing, food, childcare, health care, and transportation. 

An additional 12 percent of area households live in poverty. Taken together, 38 percent of households in Marshall County struggle to afford basic needs. Inflation is expected to push those numbers even higher. For individuals and families already on a tight monthly budget, rising costs mean there is not enough money for the month to make ends meet.

“Inflation creates impossible choices. Food or health care? On a tight family budget, with costs of living increasing, those are the decisions that must be made,” said Linda Yoder, Executive Director of United Way. “The new poverty simulator helps our community better understand what ALICE households are facing today in Marshall County.” 

The poverty simulator, the first tool of its kind in the region, helps the wider community understand the pressures and strains on family budgets for the most vulnerable area households by walking other community members through a limited household budget for a family of four with two young children. 

“United Way is built for tackling immediate and long-term community needs,” continued Yoder. “We hope that greater awareness of the choices low-income and ALICE households in Marshall County face will spur donations and volunteers to help us meet the needs we are seeing. This is a time for us all to come together, and fight for our community.” 

To experience the poverty simulator, donate to United Way, and get involved, visit www.marshallcountyuw.org/poverty-simulator