KOMU 8 viewers show poverty has many faces

3 years 2 months 2 weeks 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 (AP) — The dangers of opioids are forcing police to change the way they test drugs... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:39:08 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities say a man and woman from Missouri have admitted to selling male enhancement pills that... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:18:08 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield man has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenager with a mental disability... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:49:46 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri bill would confiscate licenses from teenagers accused of unlawful driving. The Springfield... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:46:17 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
TIPTON - What started off as a one-day service project has turned into a month-long fundraiser. Members of the... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:28:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
TUSCUMBIA - The Miller County Prosecutor's Office charged a man with murder on Wednesday in connection with a September 2017... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:09:48 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JOPLIN (AP) — University libraries across Missouri are spending more of their budgets on online resources and subscriptions, as... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 11:26:29 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
FORSYTH (AP) — Forest Service officials say wildfires in Taney County last week are being investigated as possible arson.... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 11:15:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An Illinois megadonor is contributing $500,000 to the effort to make Missouri a right-to-work... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 10:59:41 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Officers arrested a man on Tuesday following an investigation into alleged domestic assault. The 74-year-old female... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 10:53:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
TRENTON (AP) — Authorities say a man has been arrested in the theft of an ambulance from a northwest... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 9:37:11 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
MARCELINE (AP) — Authorities say a train has struck and killed a third-grader in northern Missouri. The... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 9:28:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Solid Waste Utility and Downtown Community Improvement District will meet Wednesday night to discuss the... More >>
2 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 7:50:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- It’s no secret anything related to a Disney character can dazzle a child. Lauren Kight, a senior at... More >>
2 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 6:00:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
Jefferson City - In mid-Missouri, there are few opportunities to take to the ice like your favorite Olympic figure skater,... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 20 2018 Feb 20, 2018 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 8:30:00 PM CST February 20, 2018 in News
SEDALIA - Icy weather hit Sedalia and other western counties on Tuesday. The conditions are expected to continue through... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 20 2018 Feb 20, 2018 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 8:03:00 PM CST February 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The 2018 Economic Outlook Conference kicked off at Columbia College with a laugh and speakers discussing how... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 20 2018 Feb 20, 2018 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 7:06:00 PM CST February 20, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has given initial approval to a bill outlawing so-called "revenge porn." ... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 20 2018 Feb 20, 2018 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 6:34:00 PM CST February 20, 2018 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 39°
9am 41°
10am 43°
11am 45°
12pm 46°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
9:00a
Megyn Kelly TODAY
10:00a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
The 3rd Annual Howie Mandel Stand-Up Gala
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld