COVID-19 Survey Results: Shedding light on the impact on New York communities

A statewide survey on the effects of COVID-19 confirms that New Yorkers are facing many challenges due to the pandemic, some New York communities and populations are being hit disproportionately hard, and most New Yorkers are very worried about themselves or family members being infected with COVID-19 and experiencing mental health issues. 

The survey revealed that:

  • Most respondents expressed an overwhelming fear of catching COVID-19 (80.7%), followed by a concern with mental health issues (47.6%).
  • Families are concerned about childcare/education and/or remote learning (31.6% of respondents listed this as a top concern); and 61.7% of respondents with children report challenges with juggling work and children’s needs.
  • Hourly workers were far less likely to transition to remote work (32.6%) than salaried workers (63.3%).
  • Of those looking for work, 54.4% reported difficulty finding a job and 46% reported being unable to find a job that provides a sufficient income. 

ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Households were struggling to meet basic needs before the pandemic.  Pre-pandemic research found that 45% of households in NYS fell below the ALICE Threshold, meaning they were unable to meet a basic household survival budget for housing, food, transportation, childcare, health care and technology.  COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted these households. 

ALICE households:

·      Are statistically more concerned about childcare and education, mental and physical health issues, paying off debts, job loss, and affording food and housing than households above the ALICE Threshold.

·      Are more likely to receive food from a food bank, borrow from friends/family and apply for government assistance than households above the ALICE Threshold

By comparison, households above the ALICE Threshold are more likely to be concerned about a household member getting COVID-19 and less likely to say that they’ve had to take any additional actions (like applying for unemployment, selling belongings, taken money out of savings) to get by during the pandemic.

United Way of New York State, in partnership with local United Ways across the state, released the statewide survey to help shed light on the impact COVID-19 on New York communities. In addition, the survey aims to guide and inform United Ways across the state on how to best support New York families through long-term recovery and beyond. 

“Understanding our communities is what United Way does best, however we always want to be sure we are listening, turning outward and capturing the voice of the community. This survey allowed for us to hear from people around the state to let us know how they’ve been affected, where they need the most assistance, what their biggest concerns are, and to tell us more about what communities in the state may be struggling more than others.” – Brenda Episcopo, United Way of New York State

The survey was administered from October 13- November 3, 2020 and made available in both English and Spanish.  The survey closed with a total of 5,796 responses from across the state.

The COVID-19 survey has provided a snapshot of critical needs in the state of New York due to the coronavirus and United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region hopes that the results will help  guide conversations, community action, advocacy and policy ensuring resources are allocated to support those in need. 

Since March, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region has helped more that 90,000 individuals impacted by COVID-19. If you, your service organization, your non-profit, government agency or church would like more information about ways to support those affected by COVID-19, please contact us for more information. 

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