September 03, 2020 04:51PM

Participation in a statewide United Way program designed to help working families and individuals gain financial stability has doubled since the pandemic started.

ALICE Saves is a partnership among the 16 Connecticut United Ways. It offers services including a matching online savings account program and free financial coaching. ALICE stands for “asset limited, income constrained, employed.”

There are currently 642 people enrolled, with 340 actively saving money and about 45 involved in the financial coaching program, said United Way financial consultant Donna Taglianetti. To date, participants have saved $295,000 in the past 12 months, she said.

“People were really nervous (about the pandemic), some received the federal stimulus, some received the unemployment, and they saved it,” Taglianetti said.

According to the Connecticut ALICE Report, 40 percent of households struggle to make ends meet. The Federal Reserve Bank says that 47 percent of U.S. households could not cover an unexpected $400 expense without going into debt.

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