2016 IForum: ALICE's Search for Survival
A Message from Richard Porth President/CEO of United Way of Connecticut

The Partnership for Strong Communities will be starting off its annual IForum series this month with an event that explores the housing challenges faced by ALICE households in Connecticut. The event will provide insight into the struggle to achieve financial stability and lead into a productive discussion about potential solutions to create opportunity for ALICE.

More than one-third of Connecticut households live below the ALICE threshold, which is a basic cost of living for the essentials of Housing, Child Care, Food, Health Care, Transportation, and Taxes described in the Connecticut ALICE Report.  Housing is a significant and essential expense for all families, but can be especially burdensome for ALICE households.

Governor Malloy has been invited to provide opening remarks, and George W. "Mac" McCarthy, the president and CEO of the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy will be the keynote speaker.  The forum will be held at the Lyceum Resource and Conference Center in Hartford on January 27, 2016, beginning at 9:30am. Click here for additional details and to register for the event. 

The Connecticut Fair Housing Center will be holding free, monthly Foreclosure Prevention Clinics throughout the year beginning on January 19th, 2016.

These events are open to any homeowner who is facing foreclosure, and are offered at no cost. Attendees will receive information about the foreclosure process, an overview of the resources that state agencies make available to homeowners facing foreclosure, and more. 

After the presentations, interested attendees can meet with volunteer attorneys to discuss their specific situation.

No registration is required to attend. Click here to download an informational flyer with details about the upcoming events.

For additional help with housing concerns, visit the Housing section of the new 2-1-1 website or dial 2-1-1 any time of day, any day of the year to speak with a contact specialist.

In Connecticut, there are several options available for people to get free assistance with preparing and filing their income tax returns. The 2-1-1 eLibrary has an overview and details about specific programs will be available beginning in late January 2016.

Keep these free resources in mind as you begin receiving your tax documents this month.  

In the next edition of this newsletter, there will be detailed information about all of the free tax preparation assistance available for filing your 2015 return.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can make a big difference for eligible individuals and families who claim it. 
The EITC is a refundable tax credit that typically increases the tax refunds received by those who qualify for and claim the credit.  In Connecticut, filers can claim the EITC on both their federal and state tax returns. 

For qualifying individuals and families, the EITC adds to their tax refund, making it possible to pay off debt, save for a rainy day, and invest in their future.
However, it is estimated that up to 25% of qualifying households do not claim the EITC on their returns. When you file your taxes this year, be sure to check whether you qualify to claim the EITC.  Learn more by dialing 2-1-1 or visiting this link.