Katie Harris

Featured Volunteer: Katie Harris

Today we are featuring our AmeriCorps VISTA member, Katie Harris!

Katie is a VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) in the midst of completing her service year at United Way of Westchester and Putnam. She is an Economic Mobility VISTA through the AmeriCorps program.

Katie’s service year focus is managing a financial empowerment program entitled ALICE $ense, which aims to provide tools and resources that will help individuals gain financial knowledge and stability that they can carry with them through their lives. During her service year, Katie also assisted with other projects such as constructing a Born Learning Trail, volunteering at our Putnam food distribution, and helping distribute donated blankets to dozens of nonprofits before the holidays.

“I volunteer at United Way of Westchester and Putnam because I appreciate how the organization strives to aid the local communities and fight poverty. Service has always been an important part of my life and at UWWP you feel like you’re contributing to a greater impact. United Way has a hand in so many different areas, it’s really incredible.”

Katie graduated from Siena College with a Bachelor of Science in Management, with a focus in Information Systems and Strategic Human Resource Management. She was born and raised in Brewster, NY, and has spent most of her time between Putnam and Westchester counties. Katie was a Girl Scout for over a decade and has participated as a member in several service oriented clubs and honor societies.

United Way of Westchester and Putnam Hosts Annual Women’s Leadership Council “Take a Walk in Her Shoes” Event

United Way of Westchester and Putnam hosted its annual and first virtual Women’s Leadership Council “Take a Walk in Her Shoes” event on December 8. Maria M. Trusa, CEO of Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care was recognized as its 2020 “Woman of Distinction.”

Trusa, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, was the Executive Director of Scarsdale Medical Group where she worked for over 26 years. During her tenure, she transformed it from a six-physician and 35 employee practice, to more than 45 physicians and over 200 employees.

In September 2015, Trusa joined Formé Medical Center as their CEO bringing with her the vision to help the underserved and uninsured community gain access to affordable, transparent, dignified, and high-quality medical care.

“Maria has a powerful story and her impact on our community has been incredibly substantial. She has been leading the charge in providing health care services to the most vulnerable, uninsured residents in Westchester County,” said United Way President and CEO, Tom Gabriel. “It is an incredible honor and privilege to recognize her.”

Trusa provided event attendees with a glimpse into her painful past, and how she transformed her pain into strength. “You can do anything you want in life,” Trusa said. “All you need to do is imagine, believe, and create.” The dialogue’s themes included developing and supporting an inclusive environment where everyone’s voice can be heard.

The evening also included a dialogue on diversity, equity, and inclusion with special guests and panelists Trusa, Mecca E. Mitchell, Esq., Senior VP of Diversity and Community Relations at Westchester Medical Center and Former Chief Diversity Officer for the State of New York, and Elizabeth Bracken-Thompson, Partner at Thompson & Bender and United Way’s 2017 Woman of Distinction Honoree.

Mitchell spoke about the importance of creating an inclusive and empathetic workplace. “Putting yourself in someone else’s position is about being an ally,” she said. “I don’t have to look like you or sound like you to understand your struggle, to be able to play a role in empowering you.”

Participants each received a “Gratitude Giftbag,” which contained a mezze tray from Ladle of Love, wine, and a copy of Trusa’s book, “I Say No More.”

The event helped to raise funds to support ALICE women, children, and families affected by the ongoing pandemic and economic crisis. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. At its core, it is a new way of defining and understanding the struggles of households that earn just above the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough for a survival budget.

“ALICE households are what we used to call “The Working Poor,” said Gabriel. “These are your child care workers, security guards, cashiers at your supermarket, gas attendants, the salespeople at your big box store, the home health aides, and waiters and waitresses at your local restaurant.”

“They were struggling to meet basic needs before the pandemic. Pre-pandemic research found that 37% of households in Westchester and Putnam fell below the ALICE threshold, meaning they were unable to meet a basic household survival budget for housing, food, transportation, childcare, health care and technology,” Gabriel continued. “United Way is committed to assisting these vulnerable populations that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.”

The WLC Committee members included Leslie Lampert, Owner of Ladle of Love, and Bernadette Schopfer of Maier, Markey & Justic, LLP. The event was generously sponsored by Con Edison, IBM, Ladle of Love, M&T Bank, PepsiCo, and PURE Insurance.

United Way Study on COVID-19 Shows Impact on New York Individuals and Families

A statewide survey conducted in partnership with the United Way of Westchester and Putnam and other local United Ways on the effects of COVID-19 confirms that New Yorkers are facing many challenges due to the pandemic. The study also affirms that some New York communities and populations are being hit disproportionately hard, and most New Yorkers are very worried about themselves or family members being infected with COVID-19 and experiencing mental health issues. In Westchester and Putnam more than 45 percent of households are struggling to live paycheck-to-paycheck or in poverty. The survey revealed that:

  • Most respondents expressed an overwhelming fear of catching COVID-19 (80.7%), followed by a concern with mental health issues (47.6%).
  • Families are concerned about childcare/education and/or remote learning (31.6% of respondents listed this as a top concern); and 61.7% of respondents with children report challenges with juggling work and children’s needs.
  • Hourly workers were far less likely to transition to remote work (32.6%) than salaried workers (63.3%).
  • Of those looking for work, 54.4% reported difficulty finding a job and 46% reported being unable to find a job that provides a sufficient income.

ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Households were struggling to meet basic needs before the pandemic. Pre-pandemic research found that 37% of households in Westchester and Putnam fell below the ALICE Threshold, meaning they were unable to meet a basic household survival budget for housing, food, transportation, childcare, health care and technology. COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted these households.ALICE households:

  • Are statistically more concerned about childcare and education than households above the ALICE Threshold.
  • Are more likely to receive food from a food bank, borrow from friends/family and apply for government assistance than households above the ALICE Threshold

By comparison, households above the ALICE Threshold are more likely to be concerned about non-COVID medical issues and paying off debt and were more likely to increase credit card debt than households Below the ALICE Threshold.
United Way of New York State, in partnership with local United Ways across the state, released the statewide survey to help shed light on the impact COVID-19 on New York communities. In addition, the survey aims to guide and inform United Ways across the state on how to best support New York families through long-term recovery and beyond.
The survey was administered from October 13- November 3, 2020, and made available in both English and Spanish. The survey closed with a total of 5,796 responses from across the state.
The COVID-19 survey has provided a snapshot of critical needs in the state of New York due to the coronavirus and United Way of Westchester and Putnam hopes that the results will help guide conversations, community action, advocacy, and policy ensuring resources are allocated to support those in need. 
For more about the survey click here.

100,000 Calls Received by the 211 Call Specialists

The 211 Helpline Call Center run by the United Way of Westchester and Putnam in White Plains has answered more than 100,000 calls so far in 2020, which is more than the then record-setting 80,000 calls it received in 2019. Over 25,000 calls have been COVID-19-related calls.

“I am so proud of how the call specialists have been able to handle the increased call volume while also providing each caller with the attention they need. Our call specialists have been able a source of information as well as a source of comfort for calls through this crisis,” said Lini Jacob, Senior Vice President of 211 Hudson Valley. “We have seen a jump in calls related to food and housing insecurity and financial needs in every community. 

Every day 211 operates 24/7 and regularly works remotely. Our call center will continue to do so, answering questions, providing information, and even calming a caller’s understandable anxiety about the unknown.
United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline handles calls from residents from Long Island to the Adirondacks. United Way’s 2-1-1 is a free, confidential, multilingual information (over 200 languages) and referral helpline open 365 days a year. Nationally certified call specialists are trained to answer questions and provide referrals. In 2018, 2-1-1 added text messaging to its services. 

As COVID-19 continues to unfold, 2-1-1 will be here for residents of the Hudson Valley, Long Island, and upstate New York, answering questions about food assistance, housing, and shelters, utilities, abuse prevention, suicide, foster parenting, medical help, and more. Please call 2-1-1 or visit online at 211hudsonvalley.org.

14 Organizations Awarded $110,000 Collectively in EFSP Funds

The United Way of Westchester and Putnam announces that an additional $110,000 in grants have been distributed among 14 local, nonprofit organizations responding to unparalleled food and housing needs driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The economic effects of the COVID-19 public health crisis have left many of our neighbors with food and housing insecurities,” said United Way President and CEO Tom Gabriel. “United Way is honored to be able to distribute $110,000 more of funding into the Westchester community. These funds are in addition to the $1 million from the Emergency Food and Shelter funding distributed earlier this year to help our nonprofit partners address the basic human needs of families in our community.’’

The funds were made available through the New York State Board of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) Boards to Westchester county. This program provides federal funding, which helps extend currently available services for the hungry or homeless or at risk of eviction. The United Way of Westchester and Putnam is the administrative agent of the Local EFSP Boards in Westchester and Putnam counties.

Lifting Up Westchester is so grateful to granters like the United Way who are providing emergency funding support during this time of crisis. The ESFP grant will provide rent assistance to individuals who are part of our Supportive Housing Program and who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic,” said Anahaita Kotval, CEO of Lifting Up Westchester. “Our clients, who are already so vulnerable, need us now more than ever.”

This is the third round of grants awarded to nonprofits through the United Way of Westchester and Putnam this year. First, in May, 31 nonprofit organizations were collectively awarded $120,000 in funding thanks to the United Way’s John M. Bendheim Community Disaster Response Fund and Bonwit Fund, as well as The PepsiCo Foundation. Then in June, the United Way distributed $1 million in Emergency Food and Shelter funding.

Here is a list of organizations that received funding in the latest round.Caring for the Hungry & Homeless of PeekskillCatholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New YorkFeeding WestchesterFriends of KarenGullotta HouseHOPE Community Services, Inc.Hudson Valley Community Services, Inc.Julia Dyckman Andrus Memorial, Inc.Lifting Up WestchesterOssining Micro FundThe Bridge Fund of New York, IncThomas H. Slater Center, Inc.Westchester Community Opportunity Program IncWestchester Residential Opportunities

United Way distributes 700,000 blankets, pillows donated by Delta Air Lines as winter approaches

With winter closing in and necessities in short supply due to COVID-19, United Way of Westchester and Putnam (UWWP) will be giving away 700,000 duvets, blankets and pillows to be distributed to social services agencies, schools, homeless shelters in Westchester, the Bronx and other locations in the metro area.

The shipment of desperately needed supplies are thanks to Delta Air Lines and a coalition of groups including Good360, Penske Logistics, and Diamond Properties, who worked together to make sure the supplies got into the hands of those who needed them most.

Several hundred agencies are expected to receive goods from Monday, October 26th through Friday, November 13th.

“More than 40% of our neighbors are living in poverty, paycheck to paycheck or are food insecure right now. Winter is always a difficult time, but with the pandemic and the depletion of supplies, these blankets and pillows generously donated by Delta Air Lines will keep hundreds of thousands of our neighbors warm in the coming months. We also want to thank Good360, Penske Logistics and Diamond Properties for the assistance,” said Tom Gabriel, president and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam. “It is partnerships like these that help us to fulfill our mission to lift up people in crisis to self-sufficiency.’’

As a Good360 nonprofit partner, UWWP has access to highly needed, donated goods that Good360 sources from hundreds of socially responsible corporate donors such as Delta Air Lines. UWWP then distributes these products to local, vetted nonprofits. To help facilitate this donation, Penske donated transportation services to deliver the goods to a Mount Kisco warehouse that was provided by Diamond Properties.

Gabriel said that in the past year, United Way has provided $2 million of donations through the Essential Goods for Basic Needs program, which helps to funnel millions in corporate and other donations to the public through its not-for-profit partnerships.

“We are proud to partner with United Way to reach organizations, shelters and communities in need across the country,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s Senior Vice President – In-Flight Service. “Our mission is to connect the world and giving back is a big part of that. Now more than ever, we must remember to come together, give what we can and support those who need it most.”

Marc Althen, Penske Logistics president said, “We are very pleased to support the United Way of Westchester and Putnam with their transportation needs regarding this generous donation from Delta Air Lines. Our company has a proud history of supporting the United Way.”

“During this time of tremendous need, strong collaborations with our nonprofit partners and corporate donors allow us to maximize our impact and get essential items to people facing challenging circumstances,” said Matt Connelly, CEO of Good360. “In 2020, Good360 is forecasted to distribute more than $600 million in needed goods, an increase of nearly double over 2019. We are thankful to our partners and we look forward to the continued efforts to help those in need.” 

Mark Blandford, EVP of Diamond Properties, which donated the warehouse space for the two week distribution, said, “We are delighted to be part of the efforts of the United Way of Westchester and Putnam by donating a warehouse for distribution of goods collected by donors everywhere. The United Way has been supporting families in our communities for over 100 years and their work is more important than ever. We are grateful for the opportunity to give our support.”    

The Rev. Denise Pickell of the Trinity United Methodist Church in White Plains said that her church would be making a distribution to some families in need shortly and that the church was very grateful for the donation.

“This is so badly needed, and the timing is perfect because we are doing a large distribution tomorrow,’’ said Pickell. “Thank you to the United Way, Delta Air Lines and everyone involved.’’

Malcom Holder of the Westchester Community Opportunity Program, said, “On behalf of WESTCOP, I’d like to extend a thank you for your caring and the children thank you as well.’’

Faith Ann Butcher, Chief Impact Officer for UWWP, said United Way is asking agencies in need of blankets and pillows to contact UWWP. United Way is also looking for volunteers to help load donations as well as greet and check-in agencies who are picking up donations. Agencies and volunteers can contact UWWP at www.uwwp.org or call 914-997-6700 for more information.

Over 800 View Virtual Nonprofit Leadership Summit

Over 800 viewers streamed the 18th annual Nonprofit Leadership Summit, which was hosted by the United Way of Westchester and Putnam last week. The weeklong virtual summit celebrated diversity, equity, and inclusion, by having five keynote speakers share why creating a diverse environment that supports equity and inclusion is important for nonprofits and other organizations. The goal was to help encourage nonprofit organizations to implement diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values throughout their operations, programs, and leadership. 

“Even though we had to re-imagine this event as a virtual summit, the theme that we planned is not only still relevant today, but it is essential,” said United Way of Westchester and Putnam President and CEO Tom Gabriel, who opened each day’s program. “Through this summit we are privileged to add our voices to the chorus celebrating and embracing diversity, equity and inclusion. It is our fervent hope that this week’s summit in some small way will help us all better value the visible and invisible qualities that make us who we are.” 

This year’s virtual event featured distinguished speakers including Richard Brown, Vice President of Philanthropy for American Express, who closed out the week’s programming. Brown, a Westchester resident who attended Greenburgh Schools, said he has worked in philanthropy for 30 years at six different companies, much of the time focusing on diversity. He said in his current position at American Express he is deeply involved in combatting systemic racism and promoting and advancement. 

“We are in this very critical moment,” said Brown. “This isn’t simply a black moment, or a person of color moment, this is an American moment. America would be better if this DEI movement takes roots because the weight of racial bigotry, the detrimental effects of anti-black racism, and the debilitating impact of systemic racism is a burden America has had to bear for centuries. And freeing America from this bondage will liberate us all. And I’m so happy we have an opportunity for this moment, and for all of us to do something together. And I do believe, really, that we all will benefit as a country for this”. 

Other speakers throughout the week included:Marco Davis, President & CEO, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, former Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational  Excellence for Hispanics who discussed creating a more equitable social sector. See his presentation here. 

Sean Thomas-Breitfield, co-director of the Building Movement Project, and co-author of the Race to Lead Report, discussed the nonprofit racial leadership gap. See his presentation here. 

Kishshana Palmer, CFRE, a nonprofit consultant, coach, fundraiser, and author/blogger for “Secret Lives of Leaders”, spoke about promoting diversity in your marketing and fundraising efforts. See her presentation here. 

Chitra Aiyar, a TED Speaker who is the former Executive Director of Sadie Nash Leadership Project and co-producer of “Claiming Our Voice See her presentation here.

A recap of the five days of programming as well as additional educational materials can be viewed here.

Continuing education credits are available through Fordham University’s School of Social Service for a fee for those who complete the educations materials in each session.

Thank you to the Nonprofit Leadership Summit sponsors: TD Bank, Con Edison, Nonprofit Westchester, Council Services Plus, HRG – Hospitality Resource Group, Marks Paneth, Paycor, Association of Development Officers, Fordham University, MVP Healthcare, Pace University, Westchester Local Development Corp., and Westchester Library System.

United Way of Westchester and Putnam Hosts Sold-Out Day of Golf

White Plains, N.Y. (September 2020) – United Way of Westchester and Putnam honored Kevin J. Plunkett, Esq., Director of Strategic Initiatives at Simone Development Companies and Former Westchester Deputy County Executive at its 2020 Day of Golf, presented by PepsiCo at Scarsdale Golf Club on September 14.

“Kevin has been a longstanding supporter of the United Way of Westchester and Putnam. Specifically, he was instrumental in getting our 211 Helpline recognized as an official County partner,” said United Way President and CEO, Tom Gabriel. “Today, our 211 Helpline answers tens of thousands of calls each year from frightened residents here in Westchester and throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond.”

Funds raised help to support United Way’s continuing COVID-19 pandemic response efforts and the local nonprofit community. The Day of Golf Committee members included Plunkett, John M. Flannery, Esq. of Wilson Elser, Bud Hammer, and Cathy Hoffman of Atlantic Westchester Inc., and William Mooney III, Esq. of Signature Bank.

“United Way has distributed more than 310,000 lbs of groceries and prepared meals to over 14,000 households,” Gabriel continued. “We have donated more than $2.3 million in essential goods to assist people with their basic human needs and have distributed over $1.3 million in grants to nonprofits serving our most vulnerable residents.”

United Way of Westchester and Putnam recognized Kevin Plunkett as the honoree of their 2020 Day of Golf. Pictured Margaret Tramontine, Chief Development Officer, Tom Gabriel, President and CEO, honoree Kevin Plunkett, and Rebecca Snyder, Director of Special Events and Development

The sold-out event featured a round of golf with contests, BBQ lunch on the course, a cigar rolling station, and a grab and go gourmet dinner. Players also took their best shot in a “Beat the Honoree” contest, to try to hit farther on a par 3 hole than the event honoree.

“I am very proud to be recognized by the United Way of Westchester and Putnam,” honoree Plunkett said. “Over 400,000 households have been helped in Westchester and Putnam counties by United Way over the last year. It is a great honor to be here, to be recognized, and to have a golf outing in these tough times to support this great cause.”

The tournament’s Long Drive contest winners were Bill Winters of Tompkins Mahopac Bank and James McHale III of JP McHale Pest Management and the Closest to the Pin winners were James McHale Jr. of JP McHale Pest Management and Desmond Lyons of Lyons McGovern LLP. The Day of Golf event was generously sponsored by Allan M. Block Agency, Inc., Apple Bank, Atlantic Westchester, AtwoB, Casamigos Spirits Company, Charles Newman Co., CPL Architecture Engineering Planning, Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP, Jean Marie Connolly, and Mark Iannucci, JP McHale, Kensico Cemetery, LeChase Construction, Levitt-Fuirst, Lyons McGovern LLP, Matthew Lyness, Mutual of America, PCSB Bank, PepsiCo, Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 21, Plunkett Attorneys at Law, Bill and Tom Mooney at Signature Bank, Simone Development Companies, Skunktown Distillery, Tompkins Mahopac Bank, and Westfair Communications.

United Way Non-Profit Leadership Summit to Focus on Encouraging Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Westchester County, N.Y. (September 2020) – United Way of Westchester and Putnam’s Nonprofit Leadership Summit 2020 will focus on a topic that now more than ever is relevant in the corporate and not-for-profit worlds: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

The theme for this year’s summit is “Preparing for the Success of Tomorrow Begins with Embracing Equity Today.” The goal is to help encourage not-for-profit organizations to focus on diversity and inclusion as core values throughout their operations, programs, and leadership.

“This year we have seen that the message of equity, diversity, and inclusion is more relevant than ever before,’’ said United Way of Westchester and Putnam President and CEO Tom Gabriel. “We cannot move forward into the future by holding onto to old ways that don’t serve our communities or our nation. Leaders of the future should be reflective of the communities we represent.’’

Over five days, this year’s virtual event will feature high-level speakers including Richard Brown, Vice President of Philanthropy for American Express, who will close out the week’s programming.

The summit will be held virtually from Monday, October 5, through Friday, October 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Each day will have a 1:1 speed networking session followed by a keynote presentation and ending with a Q&A session. The event is $25 for a weeklong pass thanks to the generous underwriting of TD Bank. Continuing education credits and certificates of completion are available to those who attend all of the keynote presentations.

The goal of the Nonprofit Leadership Summit is to build professional excellence in the purpose-driven organizations of Westchester and Putnam counties. The keynote speakers will speak on this theme through the lens of the nonprofit sector.

Speakers for this week will include:

Monday, Oct. 5

Marco Davis, President & CEO, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, former Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics will discuss creating a more equitable social sector.

Tuesday, October 6  

Sean Thomas-Breitfield, co-director of the Building Movement Project, and co-author of the Race to Lead Report, will address the nonprofit racial leadership gap.

Wednesday, October 7

Kishshana Palmer, CFRE, a nonprofit consultant, coach, fundraiser, and author/blogger for “Secret Lives of Leaders”, will speak on promoting diversity in your marketing and fundraising efforts.

Thursday, October 8

Chitra Aiyar, a TED Speaker who is the former Executive Director of Sadie Nash Leadership Project and co-producer of “Claiming Our Voice,” will discuss cultivating space for marginalized populations.

Friday, October 9

 Richard Brown, Vice President of Philanthropy at American Express, who will talk about the importance of diversifying the current landscape of nonprofit leaders and transforming an organization’s capacity to attract, develop, and retain leadership talent.

Each day’s schedule will be as follows:

11:30 a.m. – 1:1 speed networking (5-minute intervals)

12:00 p.m. – Keynote

12:55 p.m. – Q&A

1:30 p.m. – Event Ends

Tickets can be purchased here.

The Summit attracts a diverse audience of professionals and volunteer leaders in the nonprofit sector – across disciplines, fields, and experience levels. Last year over 600 people from over 250 organizations attended the event.

In addition to the generosity from TD Bank. The United Way of Westchester and Putnam would like to thank the Summit sponsors Con Edison, Nonprofit Westchester, Council Services Plus, HRG – Hospitality Resource Group, Marks Paneth, Paycor, Association of Development Officers, Fordham University, MVP Healthcare, Pace University, Westchester Local Development Corp., and Westchester Library System.

United Way Releases Latest ALICE Data on Financially Struggling Families

Even before COVID-19 hit, 38% of households in Westchester and Putnam counties were already one emergency away from financial ruin, setting the stage for an unprecedented economic crisis in the Hudson Valley for the next several years, according to the latest local ALICE® Report released by United Way of Westchester and Putnam.

ALICE® stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE households earn more than the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), but less than they need to afford a basic survival budget. There is no room in their household budgets for emergency expenses.

The 2020 ALICE® report shows that low-income families in Westchester and Putnam systematically lost buying power and financial stability as the cost of essentials outpaced wages. Meanwhile, the number of jobs that provide a living wage did not keep pace with the state’s population. The result was that 141,922 of the households in Putnam and Westchester counties were ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), a large number even before the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The 2020 ALICE® NY Report provides a reliable baseline of pre-COVID ALICE households to best direct resources,” explained Tom Gabriel, President and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam. “We can use this information to ensure we don’t leave ALICE behind again as we recover from the current economic and health crisis.”

The report calls for stakeholders across all sectors to use its findings to remove obstacles to financial stability, identify gaps in community resources and build data-driven solutions to help ALICE families achieve economic stability, bolstering the state’s economy overall.  United Way of Westchester and Putnam offers key resources for those living paycheck to paycheck, including our 24/7 211 Helpline, our ALICE $ense Financial Empowerment program, and the FamilyWize prescription discount program

The most recent ALICE report shows that over the last few years, New York and the Hudson Valley’s economy rebounded and the state made investments to assist those living in poverty. However, there is still a large number of Hudson Valley residents who lack sufficient income and resources to pay for housing, food, child care, transportation, and health care. The report continues to show that ALICE lives in every part of our region, from our largest cities to our most rural areas.

Using data from the census and a number of economic studies produced in 2018, The 2020 New York ALICE report shows that:

  • The City of Peekskill jumped from 55% in 2016 to 61% in 2018 of its population falling below the ALICE threshold. Peekskill now has the highest percentage of households living as ALICE or in poverty as compared to any community in Westchester or Putnam.
  • To meet the ALICE threshold for survival, a Putnam 4-person household (two adults, two children in care) must earn $109,236 in Putnam and $78,156 in Westchester.
  • To meet the ALICE threshold for survival, a single person must earn $42,636 in Putnam County or $27,321 in Westchester County to meet the household survival budget.
  • 71% of Single-female headed households with children in Westchester or Putnam are considered ALICE or in poverty.
  • While seniors, ages 65+, account for 27% of the households they comprise 38% of those who struggle to make ends meet in Putnam.
  • While Blacks, African Americans, and Hispanics make up 36% of the household population in Westchester, they are 52% of those falling into the ALICE or poverty categories.

The report debuts a new measurement called the ALICE Essentials Index. This Index chronicles how the cost of housing, child care, food, transportation, health care and a smartphone plan rose at nearly twice the rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

To read a copy of the report and find county-by-county and town-level data on the size and demographics of ALICE as well as the community conditions and costs faced by ALICE households in the Westchester and Putnam counties, visit www.uwwp.org/alice