At first glance, it appears that Martin County weathered Hurricane Irma with minimal impact. While it’s true that the massive storm's raging winds and tidal surge that demolished homes and buildings in many parts of Florida caused relatively little damage to the county, there is a problem simmering just beneath the surface.
According to United Way of Florida’s recent ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) Report, 41 percent of Martin County residents are living one paycheck away from falling into poverty. These are hardworking, yet struggling inpiduals who have little or no savings. And while Irma didn’t pack the anticipated punch for Martin County, these inpiduals are bracing for a serious financial hit as a result of a week’s worth of lost wages post-Irma.
“We talk year-round about this ALICE population and how they are one emergency or missed paycheck away from financial free-fall. Unfortunately, many inpiduals just experienced that emergency and will be in crisis mode once bills come due on Oct. 1,” said Carol G. Houwaart-Diez, President and CEO of United Way of Martin County.
To support this vulnerable population, United Way of Martin County is launching the IRMA fund (Inpiduals coming together to provide Relief for Martin County Alice Population). United Way is investing $10,000 from its emergency fund for this effort and is asking the community to join them in providing immediate relief to struggling inpiduals. One hundred percent of the funds raised will be provided to local social service organizations that are already seeing an increased demand for services in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Inpiduals can donate online at http://www.unitedwaymartin.org/irma or by texting UWMC IRMA to 313131.
“Like so many of Martin County’s issues, the post-Irma problems plaguing the ALICE population are well hidden,” Carol said. “We want to make sure these inpiduals are not forgotten and that they have the resources they need to bounce back from Hurricane Irma and get on a path to financial stability.”
About United Way
United Way of Martin County’s mission is to lift the community and change lives together through the collective power of advancing the common good. Since 1972, the United Way has been working to create long-term social change and provide support to Martin County residents by investing in programs that strive to: enhance healthy living, improve education and support financial stability.