Simulation Gives Bitter Taste of Mid-Missouri Poverty

2 years 9 months 2 days 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
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A Missouri woman has been ordered to spend a quarter century in Illinois prison for killing... More >>
10 minutes ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 5:13:19 PM CDT in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A trial is underway in suburban St. Louis in the case of a mother accused of poisoning... More >>
13 minutes ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 5:10:12 PM CDT in News
OWENSVILLE (AP) — Authorities in east-central Missouri's Gasconade County say they're investigating as a homicide the death of a person... More >>
15 minutes ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 5:08:19 PM CDT in News
MEXICO - A middle school student was turned over to the Missouri Division of Youth Services Wednesday after Mexico Public... More >>
25 minutes ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 4:58:13 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation held a public hearing in Columbia Wednesday to hear feedback on ways to improve services... More >>
1 hour ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The Secretary of State’s office has implemented an initiative called “ Show It 2 Vote, ” to educate... More >>
2 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 3:10:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Southeastern Conference and Mizzou athletics are mimicking the National Football League and its initiative to keep game... More >>
2 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 2:43:00 PM CDT in Sports
COLUMBIA - The president of the East Campus Majority Housing Association said Wednesday his group "lost" Monday night with the... More >>
3 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 2:17:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police are now investigating a Tuesday night shooting as a homicide. Shamya Nichole Brimmage died Wednesday from... More >>
3 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 1:46:00 PM CDT in News
GLASGOW – The coroner’s inquest for Kenny Suttner brought questions about the potential liability for employers and schools in... More >>
4 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 1:20:38 PM CDT in Target 8
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The husband of a woman whose body was found near a St. Louis freeway two days... More >>
4 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 12:27:18 PM CDT in News
ST. GEORGE (AP) — Authorities say two people have been killed after a sport utility vehicle's driver who was headed... More >>
6 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 11:01:06 AM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - One woman is dead after she was shot Tuesday night in Columbia. Shamya Brimmage, 25, died at... More >>
6 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 10:41:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police made two additional arrests connected with Sunday morning's disturbance at the Eagle Stop on I-70. Columbia... More >>
7 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 10:16:00 AM CDT in News
MAYSVILLE (AP) — A suspended northwest Missouri teacher has been charged with sexual misconduct with 10 teenage students. Thirty-nine-year-old... More >>
8 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 8:40:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say a welder accidentally started a fire that spread from a suburban Kansas City apartment... More >>
10 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 7:09:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County Clerk's office plans to test its voting machines on Wednesday morning in preparation for... More >>
14 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 2:56:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police investigated an armed robbery at a hotel Tuesday night. Bryana Larimer, a public information officer... More >>
17 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 12:04:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 54°
6pm 52°
7pm 50°
8pm 48°
9pm 47°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
5:00p
American Dad!
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Blindspot
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
The 100
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld