Simulation Gives Bitter Taste of Mid-Missouri Poverty

3 years 5 months 2 days ago Thursday, June 19 2014 Jun 19, 2014 Thursday, June 19, 2014 4:15:00 PM CDT June 19, 2014 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
ST. CHARLES (AP) — A judge has agreed to once again push back the trial date for a St. Louis-area... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 1:28:54 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — The driver of a stolen vehicle involved in a crash that killed four people has been... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 1:26:19 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police officers will be required each month to read and acknowledge an order reiterating... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 12:48:28 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
DONIPHAN (AP) — Authorities are investigating an unusual drowning in the Current River. The Missouri State Highway Patrol... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 12:44:22 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police have arrested a suspect accused of stealing several items, including handguns, from unlocked cars. It comes... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 11:54:00 AM CST November 17, 2017 in News
MACON - Macon's fire chief said a business outlet is a total loss after a severe fire that started Thursday... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 11:41:00 AM CST November 17, 2017 in News
FULTON - Westminster College is taking a stand against sexual assault culture on campus. The college received a $300,000... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 11:01:00 AM CST November 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Department of Agriculture is altering its rules for use of BASF's dicamba herbicide on... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 10:46:49 AM CST November 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill says she's giving away $30,000 that fellow Democratic Sen. Al Franken's leadership... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 10:16:00 AM CST November 17, 2017 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — Officials with the Missouri State Highway Patrol are searching for the driver who struck a scooter,... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 9:22:54 AM CST November 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis fire officials call it amazing that no one was hurt when part of a... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 8:43:18 AM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler is in Columbia Friday to meet with local business owners to hear their input on the... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 7:50:00 AM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia Regional Airport has seen a record-breaking number of fliers this holiday season. It’s the first... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 3:14:00 AM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Parks and Recreation Commission met Thursday night in front of a small crowd to discuss agreements... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 1:30:00 AM CST November 17, 2017 in News
Fulton - Prom season came early this year in North Callaway, with the Future Farmers of America club giving senior... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, November 16 2017 Nov 16, 2017 Thursday, November 16, 2017 8:18:00 PM CST November 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City High School students, parents and friends came together for a prayer vigil Thursday night for... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, November 16 2017 Nov 16, 2017 Thursday, November 16, 2017 8:09:00 PM CST November 16, 2017 in Top Stories
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - The intersection of Highway 54 & Route W could see a $10-$12 million makeover in... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, November 16 2017 Nov 16, 2017 Thursday, November 16, 2017 7:12:00 PM CST November 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri's October unemployment rate of 3.5 percent was the lowest for the state in over 17 years, according... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, November 16 2017 Nov 16, 2017 Thursday, November 16, 2017 6:57:00 PM CST November 16, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
9pm 51°
10pm 51°
11pm 49°
12am 48°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
The Brave
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
8:00p
Valor
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
The Brave
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Valor
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld