KOMU 8 viewers show poverty has many faces

2 years 10 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
COLUMBIA - Two felons from Columbia were charged in federal court with illegally having guns and ammunition. Ladame Smith... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 10:19:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge is hearing from police and St. Louis protesters before deciding whether to grant... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 9:57:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A man received life-threatening injuries from an apartment fire early Friday morning. Columbia firefighters arrived at 18... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 9:13:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities have found the body of a man who had been shot in the basement of... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 8:54:45 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man on Thursday on suspicion of hitting a woman after she wouldn't let him see... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 8:48:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a woman has been shot while attending a candlelight vigil for a slain man... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 7:58:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has parted ways with longtime basketball radio analyst Gary Link. Link had been the team's color commentator... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 5:13:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri kicked off it’s 106 th Homecoming Weekend on Friday. It’s a weekend full of... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 3:39:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUBMIA – The Columbia Parks and Recreation Commission held a meeting Thursday night to recommend approval of possible changes to... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 1:20:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri banned smoking on campus in 2013, but after issues with compliance over the past... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 10:29:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
FULTON- Fulton Medical Center is getting a new name along with its new owner. It will soon be called... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 10:10:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri video contest is promoting drug-free lives and giving high school students a chance to win... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 7:49:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education met Thursday and unanimously decided to vote 'no' on The Broadway Columbia's tax... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 7:13:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Elm Street will open on Friday after five months of construction. Patricia Hayles with Columbia Sewer Utility said... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 6:59:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that public defenders may not turn away clients without first getting permission... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 6:37:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA– A shuttle service responsible for bringing residents back-and-forth to campus is citing a communication breakdown for its slow response... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 6:25:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - On Thursday Missouri officials officially announced its proposal to attract Amazon's second headquarters to Missouri. Governor Eric... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:51:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed a Republican Missouri House member to serve as an associate circuit... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:31:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 51°
1pm 53°
2pm 55°
3pm 56°
4pm 60°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:00a
Figure Skating
1:00p
F1 Countdown
2:00p
Formula One Racing
12:30p
Family Guy
1:00p
Made in Hollywood NOW
1:30p
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Football Night in America
7:20p
Sunday Night Football
7:00p
Twisted
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy