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New report shows minority households in Northeast Florida are struggling financially

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax is getting real about how minority households across Northeast Florida, in Duval, Clay, Baker, Nassau and St. Johns County are struggling financially.

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A recent report says that Black and Hispanic households are experiencing more challenging financial hardships than White households.

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“We know that through the ALICE report that 2 in 5 households in Northeast Florida are struggling to make ends meet,” Winkler said.

Jeff Winkler, the head of basic needs for United Way of Northeast Florida, says new research shows racial disparities are significant and the rates of financial strain among our disadvantaged populations is stark, specifically for Black and Hispanic households.

“Historically this is the population that United Way of Northeast Florida has always targeted. We’ve been using antiquated figures like the federal poverty level to understand who’s struggling but this ALICE report showcases what it takes to survive,” Winkler said.

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ALICE is a research partner with United Way of Northeast Florida. They represent individuals and families across the area making more than the federal poverty level but not enough to balance a basic household budget.

The report by ALICE says that 55% of Black households and 46% of Hispanic households are struggling to make ends meet. This means things like trying to keep their lights on or getting food on their tables are a problem in these households.

This is in comparison to the 34% of White households in Northeast Florida that are going through similar issues.

Based on data from the 2021 U.S. Census and United Way’s calculations the federal poverty level for a family of 4 is close to $27,000 but a family of 4 in Northeast Florida is earning $60,000 -- above the poverty level, but still a financial challenge.

“Those are significantly higher rates than the federal poverty level. It doesn’t take into account your savings or anything else,” Winkler said.

Read: ‘We want to buy, but we can’t’: Families struggling with rising cost of living

Winkler says those often impacted are lower-income workers like bus drivers, healthcare workers and educators. Now, United Way is working with several organizations to help solve these challenges.

Winkler also adds that for a short time, there was a small bit of financial relief for the struggling individuals and families in northeast Florida due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the pandemic assistance helped lessen financial restraints.

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If you or anyone you know needs help, contact United Way of Northeast Florida by clicking here.