In June and July, United Ways across Idaho conducted a statewide survey to assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis thus far on Idaho families. The survey data indicated that families making less than $50,000 annually (corresponding closely to the ALICE demographic) were hit especially hard by the impacts of the pandemic. ALICE households experienced more job loss and reduction of hours than the general Idaho population and were more likely to report needing assistance paying rent and essential bills.
Gaps in Resources
Community resource gaps were also identified and Southeastern Idahoans across all income levels highlighted the need for better access to mental health care and assistance in finding affordable housing as the number one and number two resource gaps, respectively.
United Way of Southeastern Idaho CEO, Kevin Bailey, said, “This data allows the United Way of Southeastern Idaho and our partners in each region of our state to effectively address areas of greatest need during this pandemic. This survey shows that many of the needs that ALICE had prior to the pandemic were only exacerbated during this crisis, such as access to affordable mental and primary health care, access to affordable housing, and quality childcare.”
Almost half (45.2%) of ALICE households who needed childcare had their work hours negatively impacted, reduced, or eliminated during the pandemic due to childcare issues. Childcare continues to be a system on the verge of financial collapse during this crisis which could have dire economic and social-emotional consequences for children and families in our state.
The data also highlighted that Southeastern Idahoans were most concerned about themselves or a loved one contracting COVID-19.
Meeting the Needs
“We are grateful for the 350 plus individuals and families that took the time to share their thoughts and experiences with us during this difficult time,” said Bailey.
“United Ways across the state have been integral in helping to meet urgent community needs during this crisis and our local United Way of Southeastern Idaho team is energized to continue working to ensure that every Southeastern Idaho family has the resources and services needed to live a financially stable, healthy life as we work to rebuild out of this crisis.”