Simulation Gives Bitter Taste of Mid-Missouri Poverty

5 years 11 months 1 week 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
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson signed an executive order to declare a State of Emergency in Missouri because of... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 9:56:00 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A motorcycle driver is seriously injured after losing control of his motorcycle on Saturday. Around 3:40... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 6:06:00 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A new report shows black drivers were 95% more likely to be pulled over by Missouri... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 5:44:00 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As if trips to the grocery store weren’t nerve-wracking enough, U.S. shoppers lately have seen... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 5:25:41 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
KBIA - The Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing announced today that they’re making clear, accessible masks... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 5:14:59 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Fair Board is hosting a 4H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) Youth Fair... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 5:05:02 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN - The Daniel Boone Regional Library plans to reopen all buildings Wednesday. There will... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 4:52:40 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- The US military on Friday ordered several police units to be ready for potential deployment to Minnesota as... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 4:41:14 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) — Protesters blocked a downtown St. Louis interstate and set a fire in the road... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 4:17:51 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 7-year-old boy and and his 6-year-old brother died in an unincorporated area east of Kansas... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 4:13:56 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA -- Americans have finally sent their own up to space again. Saturday’s SpaceX-NASA launch of the Falcon 9 Rocket... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 3:01:00 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
DALLAS COUNTY – Two people drowned Friday night in a Dallas County creek. Richard Berthiaume swam into Lindley Creek... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 2:54:29 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Clip Joint Salon customer Andrea is grateful for how the company's confirmed positive COVID-19 cases were handled... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 2:30:00 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. ... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 2:21:00 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — MU's Office for Civil Rights & Title IX is investigating a Snapchat video that was widely criticized... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 12:51:48 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
ELDON - The Miller County Sheriff's Office hosted its annual 5K for the 7th year on Saturday. "Run with... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 11:25:00 AM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Two hair stylists at the downtown location of The Clip Joint have tested positive for COVID-19, KOMU 8... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 9:11:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 59°
4am 59°
5am 58°
6am 57°
7am 60°