The Michigan Association of United Ways stepped up and provided the leadership to launch the ALICE Project which stands for Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed and provides our community with a snap shot of households that are earning more than the Federal Poverty Level, but less than the basic cost of living.  In 2015, 40% of the households in Mason County were living in poverty (15%) and ALICE (25%).  This equates to 4,899 households that are struggling to just meet their basic needs.  While the number of households in poverty has stayed about the same since 2007, the number of ALICE households have increased by 6%.  To put this in perspective, The Federal Poverty Level for a single person is $11,700.00 and for a family of 4 the amount is $24,250.00.  Whereas, the bare minimum survival budget in Mason County is $17,724.00 ($8.86 per hour) for a single person and $59,196.00 ($25.10 per hour) for a family of 4.  This is ALICE in our community…hard working people just trying to get by.  The ALICE Report also ranks Mason County on a scale of 1 to 100 with 1 being the best and 100 being the worst, in the following areas:  Housing Affordability – 49, Job Opportunities – 53, Community Resources – 53