Simulation Gives Bitter Taste of Mid-Missouri Poverty

3 years 4 days 21 hours ago June 19, 2014 Jun 19, 2014 Thursday, June 19 2014 Thursday, June 19, 2014 4:15:00 PM CDT in Poverty
By: Angie Bailey
loading

COLUMBIA - Odds are you consider yourself a busy person, trying to take care of your own business and those around you. But I and a handful of community members who are considered "busy" by any standards got a glimpse at just how time-consuming being poor is.

In my reality, it lasted just a couple of hours. The poverty simulation hosted by Central Missouri Community Action asked us to pretend. We acted like a family struggling. We had fake conversations about what help we needed. We filled out phony applications for services and jobs. It wasn't real--except it was--just not for us.

The depressing family facts we were handed upon arrival were very real. We played out a slice in the lives of actual mom, dads, children and senior citizens trying to navigate a huge and complicated assembly of resources designed to help-as long as you can figure out how to use them.

You start seeking any kind of support you can find. I was an eight-year-old boy. Our formerly dual-income family was down to one parent working, three kids to feed, no health insurance and a lot of monthly bills. I had some resources, but I couldn't get to the right place at the right time to get anything accomplished. Playing the parent, I applied for a job and they told me they would get back to me. But then I never heard from them.

That's no place to be, believe me.

Other families had it worse: homeless, living with a disability, or with no transportation to get help. Again, that's reality.

I did see success. We kept our house!

But I saw far more payday advances and eviction notices.

Twenty-eight thousand men, women and kids live in poverty in Boone County. Right here. Whether you see it or not, you're passing by them every single day. Most are trying. But the amount of time required to get help is daunting. And the unexplained intricacies of an overwhelmed system would frustrate and anger pretty much anyone. Central Missouri Community Action exists to help guide the poor in our community through the frustrating and slow system.

It helped almost ten thousand families in eight mid-Missouri counties get more than $5.9 million in help last year.

CMCA community services director Angela Hurst talked about her disappointment in our country's public aid system. It cuts off huge chunks of money to recipients when they get even slightly more money at work. They lose childcare subsidies, rent assistance and more. It all gets taken away or significantly reduced if a working mom accepts as little as a 5 cent per hour raise.

Hurst said it is a system with too many penalties for those living in poverty when they improve their circumstances.

More News

Grid
List
BOONVILLE – Residents gathered on Saturday for the 28th Annual Boonville Heritage Days. About 100 members of the community... More >>
2 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 4:38:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police are warning residents about a phone scam. The Columbia Police Department said it has received multiple... More >>
3 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:52:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MUPD officers gave the "all clear" late Friday night after authorities said they did not find an explosive... More >>
4 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:01:00 AM CDT in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - The Moniteau County sheriff denied accusations of the jail being in poor condition following posts on social... More >>
11 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 7:48:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri non-profit organization is raising money for veterans in its own unique way, bull riding. ... More >>
11 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 7:34:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport and Sen. Caleb Rowden, R- Columbia met with dozens of Mid-Missouri parents and children to... More >>
12 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 7:12:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - After residents said they did not want a roundabout, the Columbia Public Works Department has come up with... More >>
12 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 7:05:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - More than 200 requests have come in so far in just the twenty-four hours after MU leadership announced... More >>
14 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 5:13:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Pollen is not the only allergen that arrives with the warm summer weather. A specific type of tick... More >>
14 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 4:36:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A former St. Louis County sheriff's deputy faces up to a decade in federal prison now... More >>
15 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 4:19:00 PM CDT in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - One person was taken into custody after the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office and the Mid-Missouri Drug Task... More >>
15 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 4:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia city council is considering new regulations on payday loan companies and money lending businesses. The... More >>
15 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 3:49:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia College will be giving high school students a chance to earn college credits. The two dual credit... More >>
16 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 2:43:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The Missouri State Highway Patrol celebrated the graduation of 27 troopers in Jefferson City on Friday morning. ... More >>
16 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 2:31:00 PM CDT in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - A man was taken into custody after the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office and Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force... More >>
17 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 1:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Four summer interns work with the city of Columbia to rate the conditions of roads and determine which... More >>
17 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 1:33:00 PM CDT in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating a deadly crash north of Tipton on Wednesday. According... More >>
18 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 12:40:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police responded to an armed robbery Thursday night at Cirilla's on Bukner Street. According to investigators,... More >>
22 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 9:22:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 61°
8am 64°
9am 68°
10am 71°
11am 72°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today Weekend
9:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
10:00a
The Voyager with Josh Garcia
7:00a
Calling Dr. Pol
7:30a
Calling Dr. Pol
8:00a
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Nitro Circus
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld