The Stories of ALICE

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Carol O’Brien

Carol is not your typical Darien resident.  She is going through a struggle she never thought she would.  She is an ALICE.  Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.  Carol has worked her entire life beginning when she was 10 years old.  Her father was in the Army so she has always had a strong work ethic.  She loves working.  Carol is a caring person and she and her husband adopted two sons.  She is sharing her story in hopes that it will help others.  Many people in Carol’s shoes do not know where to turn to ask for help because they have never had to ask before.

Carol’s life was everything she dreamed of, a simple, happy, stable life.  She built a 3,300 sq. foot home in Darien, worked as a Treasury Assistant and raised two boys.  Everything came to an abrupt end. She was in the process of selling her home and building a smaller one when she was in a car accident.  Her injuries were so severe she not only lost her job because she couldn’t work, she had two subsequent surgeries.  With her medical bills so high, she used all of her savings and 401k and lost her home.  She is now looking for a full-time job and is working for Right at Home, caring for the elderly and doing childcare.  She is anxious to get a more stable work situation.  She is now living in an affordable housing apartment in Darien and receiving heating assistance from Darien Social Services.  She eats lightly and has never had to ask for anything but now that is what she has to do.