JOPLIN, MO.--- Several Missouri state agencies are working together to tackle the area's poverty. One Joplin leader believes defeating poverty begins with changing the mind set. The goal is to get individuals to grow from the system and not take advantage of it. So programs like "Charity Tracker" force people in need to be held accountable for their work in society.
"There's a behavioral aspect sometimes connected with being in poverty," said Georgia Jones, Executive Director of Souls Harbor.
Soul's Harbor Director Gerogia Jones says the main issue with poverty is the attitude.
"People have grown up in the habits of receiving checks, receiving benefits, receiving charities and it keeps people bound in the concept of being poor," said Jones.
She says these ideas destroy peoples initiative to change, in turn, developing a poverty lifestyle. Jones tells us it's one of the major elements that must be addressed.
"We have to establish limits, time limits and things like that. And we use a tool called Charity Tracker, which traces a persons charity history in the City of Joplin," said Jones.
The Charity Tracker allows agencies, like Joplin Family Worship Center, to keep record of those they've been able to help so they grow from the system and not take advantage of it.
"How many times do we want to assist them, each agency can identify. I'm going to help you this time and I need you to do this for yourself before we can help you again in the future," said Daniel Wermuth, Minister Alliance Board Chairman.
Daniel Wermuth is a leader with Minister Alliance. He says the program also protects agencies from becoming an enabler and force organizations to use tough love.
"As they use Charity Tracker, they're able to measure how they're helping and see what someone else has done to help, and to see whether or not the client has responded to the request of what's best for them next," said Wermuth.
He believes the goal is to motivate individuals, not just give them groceries to rescue the moment.
"We want to help them move forward in their life. If we can show them, look how your succeeding, then that makes them feel not just good about themselves, but it also says to them, and I want to give back at some point in the process," said Wermuth.
With the Charity Tracker Program, agencies are able to view the more than 50,000 individuals or families that are getting help in some way from a local organization.