Simulation Gives Bitter Taste of Mid-Missouri Poverty

3 years 4 months 1 day 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
COLUMBIA - Columbia is one of the top locations to start a small business, according to a 2016 Forbes list... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 6:57:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - City Manager Mike Matthes and his staff released a report Monday at the city council meeting on the... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 6:01:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia Police Department is proposing changes to the standing alarm system ordinance. The first reading will... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 3:41:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The House Ethics Committee took the first steps in disciplinary proceedings toward Rep. Warren Love, R-Osceola after... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 3:31:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – People gathered at Columbia’s Planned Parenthood on Monday for a counter-protest against abortion opponents and the 40 Days... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 2:44:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Harry S. Truman VA Hospital invited behavioral health experts and local organizations to the 2017 Mental Health and... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 2:41:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
MEXICO - A 27-year-old man died after his car collided with a dump truck in Mexico, Mo. According the... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 2:32:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is headed to the United Kingdom and Switzerland on his second trade... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 2:02:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – If you passed Erifnus Caitnop on the road, you probably did not give it a second look. The... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 1:57:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
CARUTHERSVILLE (AP) — Authorities are searching for two inmates who escaped Sunday from the Pemiscot County jail. The... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 1:53:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- When Laurie Matthews hired Joe Bias in June to replace some siding on her home, it was in good... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 1:46:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- At Monday’s meeting, the Columbia City Council will discuss how to proceed with the development of land donated to... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 1:41:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A woman charged with voluntary manslaughter in a shooting death pleaded guilty on Monday. Police arrested Monique... More >>
4 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 1:02:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
O'FALLON (AP) — Authorities say a school bus and car have collided in suburban St. Louis, sending five students and... More >>
4 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 1:00:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One man is in jail after authorities said he broke in to Goldstar Recycling in Jefferson City... More >>
4 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 12:43:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Many law enforcement agencies equip their officers with body cameras to record interactions with the public. But body... More >>
4 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 12:17:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Teal-colored pumpkins are appearing on more porches as part of a national effort to make the... More >>
4 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 11:41:00 AM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
POPLAR BLUFF (AP) — Authorities say three teenagers have been killed and another injured in a southeast Missouri crash. ... More >>
4 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 10:36:00 AM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 69°
2pm 71°
3pm 73°
4pm 73°
5pm 75°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:00p
Days of Our Lives
2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
3:00p
Dr. Phil
1:00p
Maury
2:00p
Maury
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld