Simulation Gives Bitter Taste of Mid-Missouri Poverty

1 year 11 months 6 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

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
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Housing Authority (CHA) and the Truman VA are scheduled to celebrate the completion of the Patriot... More >>
5 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 2:08:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Newer buses purchased in the late 2000s by the City of Columbia are costing much more in maintenance... More >>
8 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 11:35:00 PM CDT in Target 8
LINN - Transgender woman Cathy Serino received an invitation on Wednesday to participate in the "The United States of Women"... More >>
11 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 8:15:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Memorial Day weekend festivities are underway following the Salute to Veterans wreath laying ceremony outside the Boone County... More >>
11 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 8:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asked 100,000 people about their smoking habits and found current... More >>
12 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 7:16:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City, Missouri, police say an officer shot and wounded a woman they say pointed a... More >>
12 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 6:45:41 PM CDT in News
JOPLIN – Residents are set to gather at Cunningham Park on May 22 to remember the tornado that took 161... More >>
13 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 6:32:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 19-year-old Illinois man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a downtown St.... More >>
14 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 5:25:24 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - SERVE food pantry is seeking funds to replace delivery truck for continued food deliveries. SERVE is a... More >>
14 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 4:39:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon announced today that the Echo Bluff State Park in Shannon County will officially be... More >>
15 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 4:37:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri school immunization requirements for students are changing. Students entering eighth grade and twelfth grade are required... More >>
16 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 3:27:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's insurance department has dealt a setback to a proposal by the nation's third-largest health insurer... More >>
16 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 3:25:45 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A state audit released Wednesday cites "serious mismanagement" by the former superintendent of the Fox School... More >>
16 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 2:56:24 PM CDT in News
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri plans to merge with the abortion provider's central Oklahoma affiliate... More >>
16 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 2:43:21 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia's Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI) hosts an entrepreneur event, 1 Million Cup, every Wednesday morning from 9... More >>
16 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 2:41:00 PM CDT in News
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas and 10 other states are suing the Obama administration over a new directive about transgender... More >>
17 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 2:31:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Greene County officials say they'll be able to hold Springfield municipal inmates at the county jail once... More >>
17 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 2:13:17 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri woman already accused of embezzling more than $300,000 from engineering firm Black &... More >>
17 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 1:55:09 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 64°
8am 67°
9am 70°
10am 73°
11am 77°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
7:00a
Intelligence for Your Life
7:30a
Cops Reloaded
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Strong
8:00p
Red Nose Day
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
The Flash
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld