Simulation Gives Bitter Taste of Mid-Missouri Poverty

4 years 5 months 4 weeks 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
BOWLING GREEN - Charles Erickson, who is serving time in prison for the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports... More >>
29 minutes ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 10:16:29 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A man awaiting sentencing for attacking his grandparents filed a motion Friday, seeking acquittal on one of the... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 9:05:36 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - A Fortuna man pleaded guilty Friday to charges related to the 2017 death of his young son. ... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 8:55:15 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Public Service Commission will hold a hearing on the Grain Belt Express on Tuesday. ... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 5:34:00 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
PETTIS COUNTY - Tom Belsha has lived on Crestview Drive for twenty years. He has been questioning the quality of... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 8:39:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in Top Stories
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Missouri woman who told police she intentionally drove into the Kansas River while trying to... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 6:34:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Denico Crawley, the man convicted of murder stemming from the case of Quenten Hurt, was sentenced to 105 years... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 6:06:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A jury trial for two defendants in the death of Carl DeBrodie has been postponed, according to... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 5:45:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Council members agreed to narrow down the number of hiring companies who applied to be in charge of... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 2:37:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Emergency crews spent most of Monday morning removing a semi-truck from a front yard after it veered off... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 2:16:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Motorists are advised to avoid the area near Missouri Boulevard this evening, from the intersection of West... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 1:34:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
FLORISSANT (AP) — Authorities say a 12-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 6-year-old sister in suburban St. Louis while... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 12:00:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Missouri poacher has been ordered to repeatedly watch the movie "Bambi" as part of his sentence... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 10:18:00 AM CST December 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - SSM Health and MU Health Care will host the last of three scheduled public forums Monday night... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 3:10:00 AM CST December 17, 2018 in Top Stories
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A 57-year-old southwestern Missouri man has pleaded guilty in federal court to a $2.4 million wire fraud... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 9:48:54 PM CST December 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri sent out an MU Alert just before 6 p.m. Sunday to warn people about... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 6:45:00 PM CST December 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- From model trains to decorated window panes, there was fun for all ages at the Boone County History and... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 6:12:00 PM CST December 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – After a life-threatening accident 17 years ago, a Columbia man is proving you never have to give up... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 12:46:00 PM CST December 16, 2018 in Sports
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 44°
11am 44°
12pm 48°
1pm 51°
2pm 54°