Missouri makes headway in fight against poverty

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According to a new study, one of the Four States is making headway in the fight against poverty. But that success may be short lived.

For the third year in a row, the number of Missourians living in poverty has declined, for 2016 it was at 14 percent, which is the lowest it’s been since before the recession hit. But, according to the study by Empower Missouri and the Coalitions on Human Needs, all that progress may be in jeopardy if proposed cuts to the federal programs are made by the Trump administration.

Souls Harbor Interim Director Dianna Gurley says, if anything, she’s noticed the need for food and shelter keeps climbing. And contrary to what some might think it’s not because they don’t want to work.

Dianna Gurley, Soul’s Harbor Interim Director: “I don’t agree that it’s because people do not want to work, I see people working two and three jobs all the time that’s almost a regular now and I see people getting exhausted and I see them not getting any further, and the wages just aren’t there.”

Debbie Markman with Economic Security Corporation says nearly half of all the people in this part of the state that are at or below the poverty level have jobs, and in some cases, more than one. If cuts are made in programs like the ones that provide free school lunches for children and others, Debbie Markman says it will make an already difficult situation for the working poor, even worse.

Debbie Markman, Economic Security: “We would have W.I.C, we would have what Missouri has, which is MCS or medicare for children, elderly and some of our single moms who would be eligible for that who work.”

So how can you help prevent the possible cuts from taking place, both organizations suggest contacting your lawmakers and let them know what you think.

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