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Report: 20% of Michigan’s veterans struggle to make ends meet

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While above the poverty line, many still don’t make enough money each month.

According to a new report, 1 in 4 Michigan Veterans are living in financial hardship, and struggle to make ends meet each month.

Issued from the United Way of the Lakeshore and its research partner United For ALICE, the report says that 26% of Michigan’s roughly 500K veterans struggle to pay their bills on time, put food on the table, or break even at the end of the month, let alone save anything that comes in.

The study found that in 2019, while 6% of the state’s veterans lived below the poverty line, 20%, over 3 times as many were ALICE; an acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

Meaning, that ALICE households earn more than the Federal Poverty Level but less than what it costs to live and work in the modern economy.

Inflation and the rising costs of groceries and gas has only compounded the problem.

“Our freedom comes with the responsibility to ensure that those who have served and sacrificed don’t struggle to make ends meet once they return home,” said United Way of Lakeshore CEO, Christine Robere. “Although veterans do have additional supports not afforded nonveterans, clearly there’s still room for improvement.”

To make matters worse, just 15% of Michigan’s financially insecure veterans participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). She says her organization is working to reduce stigma, increase awareness of resources available, and target over 100,000 veterans in Michigan whose families were struggling to make ends meet in Michigan did not participate in SNAP.

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