KOMU 8 viewers show poverty has many faces

2 years 1 month 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
COLUMBIA - The Boys & Girls Club in Columbia began demolishing the Sonic on Business Loop Thursday morning in order... More >>
1 hour ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 3:33:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — If Missouri fails to comply with the federal REAL ID Act, some Missourians could face a real... More >>
11 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 5:05:00 PM CST in News
The Missouri Highway Patrol said they were requested by the Columbia Police Department to conduct a death investigation in the... More >>
12 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 4:16:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man started a petition against a magic show featuring rare, white tigers at the University of... More >>
13 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 3:49:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Washington D.C. isn’t the only city subject to cyber attacks. Mid-Missouri's power lines are at risk- but not... More >>
13 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 3:26:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Members of Decoding Dyslexia Missouri met at the State Capitol on Wednesday for the second annual Decoding... More >>
13 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 3:20:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Breaking political tradition, Gov. Eric Greitens did not present a proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year... More >>
13 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 3:10:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA- Officers responded to a robbery Wednesday morning at First State Community Bank on Golden Bear Drive. An initial... More >>
15 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 1:33:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — There's new life for a plan to have St. Louis taxpayers help fund a new downtown... More >>
15 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 1:20:06 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man whose conviction in a Missouri sports editor's death was overturned after spending nearly a... More >>
15 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 1:03:08 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man will serve three years in federal prison without parole for pointing a... More >>
17 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 11:21:09 AM CST in News
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Police say a teenager and his mother are under arrest in the death of a Missouri... More >>
18 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 10:49:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public Schools Superintendent Larry Linthacum will wrap up presentations for a possible solution to overcrowding... More >>
18 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 10:47:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police are investigating the shooting death of a 15-year-old girl. Two masked... More >>
18 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 10:07:00 AM CST in News
ROLLA (AP) — Authorities in south-central Missouri are investigating after a woman's body was found in a ditch along a... More >>
19 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 9:57:00 AM CST in News
INDEPENDENCE (AP) — Authorities are investigating a homicide in the Kansas City suburb of Independence. KMBC-TV reports that... More >>
19 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 9:54:00 AM CST in News
VANDALIA-The city of Vandalia is declaring a boil advisory until Thursday at 3 a.m. The city’s water pressure dropped... More >>
19 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 9:43:00 AM CST in News
LIBERTY (AP) — The former campus president of a Kansas City trade school says he was fired for letting a... More >>
19 hours ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 9:31:00 AM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 43°
5am 39°
6am 39°
7am 43°
8am 43°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
7:00a
Today
5:00a
Paid Program
5:30a
Paid Program
6:00a
King of the Hill

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Good Place
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
The Blacklist
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld