ALICE conversation continues with second community talk

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — A second community conversation is planned for Tuesday, April 24, to talk about families living in the central Shenandoah Valley who are sometimes referred to as a "hidden population."

The United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County will host the ALICE talk at Asbury United Methodist Church at 4 p.m.

ALICE is an acronym for asset limited, income constrained, employed. A statewide report released last summer found 39% of people living in the Friendly City fell into this category of people, earning more than the poverty level but still struggling to pay bills.

That's one of the highest rates for any area in Virginia.

A first-of-its-kind meeting in March drew people from the business, faith and non-profit communities, as well as government leaders.

"The real power was just sort of in those cross conversations and hearing people start to talk about solutions, about what can we do together," said Laura Toni-Holsinger, the Executive Director of the United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham.

In February, WHSV did an in-depth report on ALICE families.

Toni-Holsinger said spots were still available for the meeting Tuesday. Spots can be RSVP'd by contacting Tashfia Hasan at