EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Twenty-eight percent of East Baton Rouge Parish’s working households struggle to afford basic needs, according to The Louisiana Association of United Way’s annual Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) report. The president of Capital Area United Way, George Bell, says the report helps them figure out what areas around the parish are in greatest need of help.
“It focuses on the cost associated with households raising families and the cost of living for those households and the problems and the challenges that they face,” said Bell.
The report’s numbers come from work done in 2016. It shows East Baton Rouge Parish’s poverty level is in line with the state’s average at 19 percent. Joshua Selser, founder of Famine Is The Enemy (FITE), says the statistics are hard to accept.
“Heartbreaking to know somebody who works 40 hours a week can’t even pay their own bills a lot of the time, and you know we just want to provide hope,” said Selser.
The organization helps provide food and resources to families in need. He says it’s only a small portion of what many of those households need. “We are coming feed people once or twice a week. It’s not really keeping people alive, but that helps me give them the extra push and motivation,” said Selser.
“Organizations, non-profit organizations, businesses can all play a role in helping our community. These are the people that we work with, go to church with, live with, and these are real challenges,” said Bell.
Capital Area United Way will host an informational session on the ALICE report at their main office Jan. 15.