Simulation Gives Bitter Taste of Mid-Missouri Poverty

1 year 10 months 1 week 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 Boone County Sheriff's Department, Columbia Police Department and Jefferson City Police Department collected unused or unwanted prescription... More >>
6 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 8:28:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A 28-year-old Springfield man has been sentenced to two life terms for fatally stabbing a rural southwest... More >>
10 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 4:23:26 PM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA — Safe Kids Columbia unveiled its new Safe Kids Mobile Education Unit Saturday. Children also learned about safety while... More >>
10 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 4:20:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Boone Hospital gave community members a chance to receive a variety of free cancer screenings at their 3rd... More >>
11 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 3:54:00 PM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY — A woman was hospitalized after crashing her car on Highway 63 Saturday afternoon. According to the... More >>
11 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 3:49:00 PM CDT in News
CHICAGO - The NFL Draft has called and Mizzou answered. Today three former Missouri Tigers were selected in the... More >>
11 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 3:23:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Junior Golf Foundation opened the Ken Lanning Golf Center Saturday morning. The golf course... More >>
11 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 3:20:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Hundreds of mid-Missourians gathered at Bass Pro Shops Lake Saturday morning for the fifth annual "Float Your Boat... More >>
12 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 2:41:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — There are two weeks left for the Missouri Legislature to pass bills, and some Democrats are... More >>
13 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 1:27:24 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) said Saturday a man who they arrested on Wednesday has died. ... More >>
18 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 8:53:00 AM CDT in News
MEXICO — Parents, teachers and potential foster parents are taking the opportunity to offer their kids a better life by... More >>
20 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 6:15:00 AM CDT in News
BALLWIN (AP) — Republicans are choosing 40 of the 57 Missouri delegates to their national convention and many may not... More >>
21 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 5:56:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A town hall meeting to explain an updated development code for the city of Columbia was held Saturday... More >>
22 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 4:23:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — What was supposed to be a simple meet and greet resulted in a change of location and some... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 8:09:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — High school students from all over the state traveled to Columbia for the MSHSAA Music Festival, the state-level... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 8:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Missouri residents will see more insects this Spring and Summer because temperatures did not hit below freezing enough... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 7:07:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — The City of Columbia utility department recently sent out 8,000 incorrect utility bills. Assistant Director Jim Windsor... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 5:36:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — The Columbia Senior Activity Center began its two-day spring garage sale on Friday. The annual garage sale... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 5:35:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 57°
3am 54°
4am 54°
5am 53°
6am 53°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:30a
Paid Program
3:00a
Paid Program
3:30a
Paid Program
2:00a
Elementary
3:00a
Paid Program
3:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Little Big Shots
8:01p
The Carmichael Show
8:30p
Crowded
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
A History of Violence
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Cougar Town