MIDDLEFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) – They’ve served and sacrificed, but are still struggling. Many veterans in Connecticut can’t make ends meet even while working multiple jobs.
Robert Gonzalez served four years in the U.S. Army and currently serves in the National Guard. He’s married with two young children, and his wife Julia is a full-time student and works part-time.
Gonzalez, 25, is a full-time student himself and receives benefits to help make ends meet.
“I’m able to maintain and have a stable income, but if I didn’t have any of those, I don’t know where I would be,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez is not alone. The United Way of Connecticut says about a quarter of veterans in the state are considered to be facing financial hardship.
“It’s those who are living below the poverty level, but those who are ALICE, and ALICE means ‘Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed,’” said Carin Buckman, United Way of Connecticut.
The latest research from United for ALICE shows more than 33,000 Connecticut veterans are facing financial hardship. Five percent of them live below the federal poverty line and the other 18% are part of the ALICE population.
“There’s a really good expression to describe the ALICE population, and that is that they’re running in place, but falling behind,” Buckman said.
Gonzalez says his family is staying afloat thanks in part to Habitat for Humanity, who built their home. They moved in last May.
“I would’ve definitely been a setback if we never had got this because now, we have a home, it’s ours,” Gonzalez said.
There is hope as many resources are available for veterans who are in need of help. For more information, click here.