Being Poor: Meet ALICE, the Working Poor


This episode is the fifth in the new six-part series “Being Poor in New York State.” WCNY director of public affairs, Susan Arbetter hosts this program where we explore what it looks like to live in New York State without enough food, clothing, housing, money or means.  Being poor often means a daily struggle to fight a system seemingly stacked against those on the margins of society, while also fighting against desperation and hopelessness.

In this WCNY six-part “Connect: NY” series, viewers are exposed to the world of poverty in New York State and the choices and sacrifices both the urban and rural poor must make every day to survive.

Who are the working poor?  If you are working one job or multiple jobs, is it still possible to fall short financially when it comes to affording the basic necessities of life?

The United Way’s study of financial hardship, nicknamed “ALICE” referring to Asset Limited,Income Constrained, Employed individuals aims to answer these questions and provide a broader picture of financial insecurity than just state and federal poverty guidelines.

Connect: NY spends a day in the life of a woman who has done everything possible to pull herself out of a troubled childhood and succeed as an independent person and skilled employee.  However, her financial struggles persist with not much hope of change in the near future.  We bring you her story, as well as a panel of experts hoping to inspire a dialogue about the fragility of the important ALICE across this state and what can be done to change their situation.

Joining host Susan Arbetter for a follow up panel discussion in studio are:

  • Reg Foster – President & CEO – United Way of New York State
  • Ron Deutsch, Executive Director – Fiscal Policy Institute
  • Sharon F. Owens, Syracuse Community Connections
  • Stephanie Hoopes Halpin, PhD – National Director, United Way ALICE Project

Watch this new episode on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 9:00pm on WSKG TV.

Join us as we uncover compelling and unexpected stories throughout New York State and the history and systemic forces influencing current realities. Connect: NY is produced by WCNY (Syracuse, NY) and aired in partnership with WSKG.