KOMU 8 viewers show poverty has many faces

3 years 5 months 1 week ago Wednesday, December 10 2014 Dec 10, 2014 Wednesday, December 10, 2014 2:17:00 PM CST December 10, 2014 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
ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office announced late Monday that a special prosecutor has been selected in... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 5:00:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Checking the phone constantly, surfing Facebook first thing in the morning or right before bed, playing games like... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:58:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The spring season is officially here, and we are just days away from Memorial Day weekend. That means... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:47:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The UM Board of Curators voted Monday to increase tuition by up to 2.1 percent for the 2018-2019... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:44:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Students will leave class early on Tuesday as the 2017-2018 Academic Year comes to a close. The... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:28:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating a boating crash that left three dead and two injured... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:20:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri has never impeached a governor, but that could change in 2018. Tuesday, the House of Representatives... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 2:04:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA -Utility workers began surveying land on Clark Lane for a sidewalk project designed to improve community safety. "The... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 1:40:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A House investigatory committee has expanded its membership for a special session to determine whether... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 12:00:47 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
ROLLA (AP) — A Missouri University of Science and Technology student has been sentenced to seven years in prison... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 11:40:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ameren Missouri is planning a 400-megawatt wind farm in rural northeast Missouri, creating... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 10:44:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
POPLAR BLUFF (AP) — Authorities say a man's body was found in southeast Missouri and the case appears to... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 8:48:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – With a new terminal on the way, comes more possible changes to Columbia Regional Airport. A public... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 7:55:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council will address an ordinance Monday on whether to approve of a special August election... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 2:41:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
MARSHALL - A standoff between Marshall police and an armed man ended without injury. According to a news release,... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 9:53:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
ROCHEPORT - The city of Rocheport honored two men on Sunday whose legacy has stretched across the state of Missouri.... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 7:09:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - Gov. Eric Greitens spoke at the 16th annual Fire Fighters Memorial Service on Sunday. The service was... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 4:05:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is taking to social media to spread awareness of National Safe Boating Week... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 3:36:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
2am 71°
3am 70°
4am 69°
5am 68°