Report finds sharp spike in percentage of Hawaii residents living in poverty
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - New data shows a worrisome jump in the number of Hawaii families who are struggling to afford basic needs like housing, food and clothing.
On Tuesday, Aloha United Way released its most recent “ALICE Report” that tracks how people are doing financially. It found the number of people living in poverty in Hawaii grew from 9% in 2018 to 15% in 2022.
“Over 200,000 are now under the poverty level,” said Aloha United Way CEO John Fink.
“These are real people. These are not just statistics on a piece of paper.”
ALICE stands for Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed.
The term is used to describe people who are above the federal poverty but don’t earn enough to afford a basic household budget. In Hawaii, that ALICE household budget is under $75,000.
Currently, 44% of Hawaii’s population sits there — a 2% increase from 2018.
“These people have found a way to survive. They have borrowed from friends and family,” said Fink.
The report found that Hawaii island had the highest rate of poverty, sitting at 17% while Kauai has the lowest — at 14%. Among ethnic groups, Native Hawaiians had the highest poverty levels — at 27%.
The people behind the “ALICE” report hope their findings are an urgent call for action.
That’s what people like Donna Gompertz are hoping for, too.
She’s now living on the streets after having to use household money on medications.
She said taking care of her husband with Alzheimer’s last year was too much for her budget. “We got behind in the rent for the first time in all the 21 years we been there. By 2022, it was just a nightmare,” she said.
Click here to read the full ALICE report.
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