The first ALICE report was released in 2009 as a pilot project for Morris County, New Jersey — one of the wealthiest counties in the country. United Way started publishing ALICE reports based on state-level data in 2012. These quickly garnered media attention, seeing coverage in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of newspaper articles, including the Associated Press.
The following headline was typical and variations of it were published repeatedly: “XX% of Families in [State] Can’t Afford Basic Needs.” The model has gained traction with a variety of large foundations and corporations. The United Way lists dozens of companies, business groups and other organizations that have signed up as advisors or sponsors of the ALICE report. Politicians frequently cite ALICE reports. For instance, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer referenced it to justify creating the Michigan Poverty Task Force in 2019.