KOMU 8 viewers show poverty has many faces

2 years 5 months 1 week ago December 10, 2014 Dec 10, 2014 Wednesday, December 10 2014 Wednesday, December 10, 2014 2:17:00 PM CST in Poverty
By: Annie Hammock, KOMU 8 Interactive Director

COLUMBIA - Many roads lead to poverty and the people who travel those roads each have a unique story to share.

Viewer responses to a KOMU 8 News poll on poverty showed there is no single, simple definition of what it means to be poor or near poor.

Respondents included single parents and married couples, retirees and young adults, dropouts and people with multiple college degrees.

Explanations for how they became poor or near poor included layoffs, disease or disability, abusive relationships, marriages that ended in death or divorce and age.

Some are unemployed, some work as many as four jobs. They hold, or have held, jobs such as teacher, dentist, daycare worker, non-profit officer, nurse, soldier, legal secretary and state employee.

"The face of poverty is not always what some people envision.," said one respondent. "Most people who work with me or know me casually would be shocked to know how hard I struggle, there isn't a sign around my neck."

It was an idea expressed many times.

"My family 'looks good,' we don't have the 'poor" look', but we do struggle," one respondent said.

Another said, "We are the family that doesn't really look poor. Our clothing isn't old and worn out but 98% of it is purchased at Goodwill and garage sales."

Federal guidelines put a dollar amount on poverty, as you can see in the image below.

The "near poor," which live just above the poverty level (represented in the third column above), are "more vulnerable" than most people to the "stress of economic instability caused by job loss, ill health, and fluctuations in housing, food, and transportation costs," according to the Census Bureau.

A common thread in the survey responses was the difficulty of making ends meet paycheck to paycheck.

"It feels like one step forward, two steps back, only every week," April Starr Dailey said.

Stefanie Lewis said, "I do not even know what to do anymore to survive in this world."

Another respondent said, "There is no safety net for us and no way to make one."

Tune into KOMU 8 News at noon Thursday to hear more from our viewers who are living in and near poverty.

Resources are available for those living at or near poverty, including organizations serving people who don't qualify for government assistance:

Voluntary Action Committee - it's mission is "To help low-income individuals and families bridge the gaps between crisis and stability and improve quality of life in Boone County."

Heart of Missouri United Way - It's stated goal is to mobilize "the caring power of community resources to serve people in need in mid-Missouri."

Missouri Association for Community Action - Its website provides a long list of resources and includes a map of where to get help.

 

 

 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bill Cosby has arrived at the Pittsburgh courthouse where jury selection in his sexual assault case is... More >>
3 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 7:36:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- Attorney General Josh Hawley is waiting for his legal appeal related to abortion laws to go into effect. ... More >>
3 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 7:21:00 AM CDT in Continuous News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Police say a man was shot while greeting people at a south Kansas City church. ... More >>
4 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 6:35:00 AM CDT in News
JOPLIN (AP) - Today, on the anniversary of the Joplin tornado that cut a path of destruction through the city... More >>
5 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 5:46:00 AM CDT in News
Tel Aviv (AP) - President Donald Trump is opening his first visit to Israel as president. Air Force One... More >>
5 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 4:56:00 AM CDT in News
PORTLAND - A Portland man was arrested in connection to a disturbance that turned into a stabbing Saturday night in... More >>
13 hours ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 9:44:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Fulton Police took two kids into custody after discovering a fire at Fulton Middle School Saturday morning. ... More >>
15 hours ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 6:47:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A crowd gathering outside of The Soul Spot on Rangeline Street led to a shots fired Sunday morning.... More >>
16 hours ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 6:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A man lost his wallet and suffered injuries in a robbery around midnight Sunday. The robbery happened... More >>
17 hours ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 5:21:00 PM CDT in News
NEWBURG - A 12-year-old boy died in a fire in Phelps County Sunday morning. The fire started at a... More >>
18 hours ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 4:32:00 PM CDT in News
KINGDOM CITY - The Fire Fighters Memorial Foundation of Missouri honored four state firefighters who passed away on duty with... More >>
20 hours ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 2:34:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MU is facing defiance over new and revised University of Missouri campus regulations focused on protesting, which go... More >>
20 hours ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 2:03:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Springfield officials are planning a new approach to a large homeless camp that's been controversial for about... More >>
20 hours ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 1:57:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — An appeals court said a former federal inmate who got a $200,000 settlement over a prison... More >>
1 day ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 10:42:10 AM CDT in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's budget hasn't been released yet, but that's not stopping some of Capitol Hill's most... More >>
1 day ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 8:40:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - May is Mental Health Awareness Month and according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5... More >>
1 day ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 8:00:00 AM CDT in News
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP)- Donald Trump will tell Muslim leaders that stamping out terror threats will require "honestly confronting the... More >>
1 day ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 7:05:23 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A former medical resident at St. Louis University Hospital will be sentenced in August for illegally... More >>
1 day ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 5:46:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 66°
11am 70°
12pm 73°
1pm 73°
2pm 73°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
10:00a
Jerry Springer
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:00p
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld