Do you make too much to qualify for public assistance, but still struggle to pay bills?

Understanding ALICE

United Way is looking at the asset limited, income constrained, employed (ALICE) population. By identifying the situations and needs of those who don’t have access to public assistance, programs can be created to fill needs such as transportation and childcare.

ALICE in Michigan

An average of 40% of families in Michigan live below a calculated household survival budget based on living expenses in their area.

Turning down promotions?

Have you turned down a different job for more pay because you would lose your public assistance benefits? Sometimes gaining a better-paying job but losing some government benefits may leave you worse off than before. This can cause some to hesitate at gaining skills and accepting better positions. You may feel like you are in a trap.

Success coach assistance

Whether you make too much to be eligible for public assistance or are on public assistance and want to move to a better position—but don’t want to lose your benefits—your success coach can help. They can assist you in sorting out the financial aspects of the choices you are facing, help in applying for programs, and be there in case you need guidance along the way.

Community resources and budgeting.

“Those in the ALICE population have less of a safety net than employees who qualify for public assistance,” said Eva Berumen, success coach with Tri-County ERN of Oceana County. “It often takes some creative searching for resources, but they are out there. Your success coach can also look at your expenses for solutions that will help lighten your load.

What do you need to succeed?

Michigan ERN and member employers are asking, “What services and/or available hours are missing? How can employers partner with community organizations so everyone has what they need to succeed?”

Change you and your company for the better

Gandhi said it best, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Your coworkers’ performance can affect you and vice versa. If you address your goals with a success coach and recommend it to others, think of the impact it could make throughout departments in how successful people are at their jobs. It could improve the overall environment so that everyone enjoys work more. Could taking advantage of a success coach to address challenge areas of your life be the tipping point toward your success at work and home? The first step is often the hardest, but the result will be worth it.


Angela Vander Hulst (consultant/principal of Words in Motion) works as communications manager for Michigan ERN and ERN USA in outreach efforts to strategic partners, company members, employees, and media. Employer Resource Networks® (ERNs) help transform companies one employee at a time through workplace assistance in overcoming any challenge or achieving any goal. The rewards are improved lives, retention, and advancement—a win-win for all. Angela has worked with Michigan ERN since 2007 in the areas of outreach, CRM development, and fund development. She is a certified Workplace Stability trainer through aha! Process.