SALISBURY – Approximately 31 percent of households in Worcester County are struggling to afford basic needs, according to a recent United Way report on Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) individuals. But statistics show these percentages are higher in half of the county’s municipalities identified in the data.
In a snapshot of six municipalities – Berlin, West Ocean City, Ocean City, Ocean Pines, Snow Hill and Pocomoke – a larger proportion of households in three of the aforementioned towns – Pocomoke, Snow Hill and Berlin – suffer from some sort of financial instability.
Approximately 56 percent of Pocomoke’s 1,484 households, 47 percent of Snow Hill’s 912 households, and 35 percent of Berlin’s 1,635 households are living below the ALICE threshold – with incomes either below the cost of living or below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
Pam Gregory, community impact director for United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore (one of nine United Way partners of the report), said many factors account for the high percentage of working households within the county struggling to afford basic necessities – housing, food, transportation, childcare, healthcare, taxes and other miscellaneous costs.