KOMU 8 viewers show poverty has many faces

4 years 3 days 19 hours ago Wednesday, December 10 2014 Dec 10, 2014 Wednesday, December 10, 2014 2:17:00 PM CST December 10, 2014 in Poverty
By: Annie Hammock, KOMU 8 Interactive Director

COLUMBIA - Many roads lead to poverty and the people who travel those roads each have a unique story to share.

Viewer responses to a KOMU 8 News poll on poverty showed there is no single, simple definition of what it means to be poor or near poor.

Respondents included single parents and married couples, retirees and young adults, dropouts and people with multiple college degrees.

Explanations for how they became poor or near poor included layoffs, disease or disability, abusive relationships, marriages that ended in death or divorce and age.

Some are unemployed, some work as many as four jobs. They hold, or have held, jobs such as teacher, dentist, daycare worker, non-profit officer, nurse, soldier, legal secretary and state employee.

"The face of poverty is not always what some people envision.," said one respondent. "Most people who work with me or know me casually would be shocked to know how hard I struggle, there isn't a sign around my neck."

It was an idea expressed many times.

"My family 'looks good,' we don't have the 'poor" look', but we do struggle," one respondent said.

Another said, "We are the family that doesn't really look poor. Our clothing isn't old and worn out but 98% of it is purchased at Goodwill and garage sales."

Federal guidelines put a dollar amount on poverty, as you can see in the image below.

The "near poor," which live just above the poverty level (represented in the third column above), are "more vulnerable" than most people to the "stress of economic instability caused by job loss, ill health, and fluctuations in housing, food, and transportation costs," according to the Census Bureau.

A common thread in the survey responses was the difficulty of making ends meet paycheck to paycheck.

"It feels like one step forward, two steps back, only every week," April Starr Dailey said.

Stefanie Lewis said, "I do not even know what to do anymore to survive in this world."

Another respondent said, "There is no safety net for us and no way to make one."

Tune into KOMU 8 News at noon Thursday to hear more from our viewers who are living in and near poverty.

Resources are available for those living at or near poverty, including organizations serving people who don't qualify for government assistance:

Voluntary Action Committee - it's mission is "To help low-income individuals and families bridge the gaps between crisis and stability and improve quality of life in Boone County."

Heart of Missouri United Way - It's stated goal is to mobilize "the caring power of community resources to serve people in need in mid-Missouri."

Missouri Association for Community Action - Its website provides a long list of resources and includes a map of where to get help.

 

 

 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - MU Professor Francis Huang wants schools to rethink suspensions and embrace a positive learning environment. Haung conducted... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 10:10:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- 20 bikes and helmets were donated to Columbia kids in time for the holiday season. Big Brothers Big... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 7:15:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The former chief financial officer for Columbia Public Schools was sentenced Thursday to five years probation. Anna... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 6:25:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Jefferson City teen has been charged in connection with a November fatal shooting. Bruce Thomas... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 6:07:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some people who live near the intersection of Vandiver Drive and Parker Street just north of Interstate 70... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 4:33:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police are investigating multiple reports of bomb threats made via email to businesses in the Columbia area,... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 3:52:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Department of Transportation director Patrick McKenna met with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Thursday to discuss the... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 3:21:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in Continuous News
WASHINGTON D.C. - Democrat Claire McCaskill had stern words for her soon-to-be former colleagues in the Senate in a farewell... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 3:20:50 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
(CNN) - Gun deaths in America have reached a record high. Nearly 40,000 people in the United States died... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 3:09:10 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Department of Transportation director Patrick McKenna met with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Thursday to discuss the... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 3:09:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
FULTON - A warehouse complex that has been standing in Fulton, with some parts dating back to the 19th century,... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 2:45:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Community members have differing emotions after two fatal shootings in Jefferson City in less than a week.... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 2:25:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - A Columbia man was sentenced for his role in a chid sex trafficking ring, the U.S. District... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 2:20:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE - A woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to helping her husband commit child sex crimes in 2015 and 2016, nearly... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 12:44:34 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of debate and negotiation, Congress voted final approval Wednesday to a massive farm bill that... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 9:57:00 AM CST December 13, 2018 in News
MEXICO - The Mexico Public Safety Department arrested a man in connection to a car theft and a home burglary... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 8:33:00 AM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna will talk to the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Thursday about future plans for Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 7:36:00 AM CST December 13, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police said they are investigating a fatal shooting from late Wednesday night. The Jefferson City Police... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 6:46:00 AM CST December 13, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 39°
10am 39°
11am 40°
12pm 41°
1pm 41°