November
2018
COMMUNITY CONNECTION
Can You Walk in ALICE's Shoes?
A Message from Richard Porth          
President/CEO of United Way of Connecticut  

For struggling households in Connecticut, low wages, tight budgets and limited savings often mean making tough financial choices. Working parents choose between quality child care and healthy food for their children. Young adults juggling multiple jobs with inconsistent schedules choose between expensive rent and a long commute to work. Aging adults approaching retirement weigh whether to ignore a car repair or forgo a needed trip to the doctor.

The 2018 Connecticut United Ways ALICE Report revealed that 40% of Connecticut households are struggling financially. 30% of these households are ALICE, an acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

ALICE cares for our children and aging parents, fixes our cars and works in our local grocery stores, retail stores, and restaurants. ALICE is our friend, neighbor, coworker and family member. We lean on ALICE for support; yet, many ALICE households are one emergency away from a financial crisis impacting their ability to feed their family, heat their home, maintain their housing, and ensure their medical care.

Can you walk in ALICE's shoes? Connecticut United Ways online ALICE Simulator, "Making Tough Choices" challenges you to walk in ALICE's shoes for 30 days. Visit www.MakingToughChoices.org to take the challenge.

Stay Healthy During Flu Season
  
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose , throat, and sometimes the lungs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu. Other everyday preventative actions include avoiding close contact with sick people, frequently washing your hands (especially before eating) and disinfecting any surface or objects that may be contaminated.
 
If you have not received your annual flu shot use the Healthmap Vaccine Finder to find a list of locations administering the flu vaccine near you.
 
For more information on how to prevent the seasonal flu visit CDC's Influenza Page  or check out 2-1-1's Seasonal Flu Vaccination eLibary Paper.

Go CT Card- for Transit
 
The Go CT Card is a new "tap and go" fare card that allows public transit commuters who ride the state's bus system to conveniently tap their Go CT Card on the fare box when boarding. Riders who use the card will automatically receive any discounts that are available, providing them with the lowest possible fare.

The Go CT Card, it is now available to use on all CTtransit, CTtra nsit Express, and CTfastrak buses throughout the state. Get your Go CT Card for free until December 31, 2018 at www.goctcard.com or by calling 877 -255-7433. Cards will cost $2 as of January 1, 2019.

After receiving the card, riders can add transit travel funds into the account in one of two ways - funds can be added online at www.goctcard.com, or in person by visiting a participating retailer (CVS Pharmacy and 7-Eleven) or one of the CTtransit Customer Service Centers.

Get your Go CT Card today and visit www.goctcard.com to learn more.

Support Groups
 
Connecticut 2-1-1 maintains a database that includes nearly 500 support groups focused on a variety of needs and life circumstances including: 

  • Parent Support Groups
  • Domestic Violence Support Groups
  • Substance Use Support Groups
  • Support Groups for Loss of Loved Ones
  • Alzeheimer's Support Groups
  • Kinship Caregiver Support Groups
  • Any many more
 
S upport groups create an environment where individuals can share their experiences, strengths, and hopes with others. 

Click  HERE for a complete list of support group topics or visit  211ct.org and search "support groups" for a list of specific support groups offered across the state. If you or someone you care about is in need of emotional support, information and/or resources, consider learning more about an appropriate support group or calling 2-1-1 to speak with a Call Specialist about other community resources.