New 2018 Missouri Poverty Report Available Now

New 2018 Missouri Poverty Report Available Now

i Mar 28th No Comments by

New 2018 Missouri Poverty Report Available Now

Missourians to End Poverty’s Report Highlights Poverty Factors Facing Nearly 827,000 Missourians

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) March 28, 2018 — The Missourians to End Poverty coalition announces the release of its new 2018 Missouri Poverty Report. This 20-page report is a comprehensive snapshot of poverty statistics in Missouri, updated and expanded from the recent 2016 edition of this biennial publication.

While Missouri has seen a decline in poverty since a 10-year high of 16.2% in 2012, 14% of Missourians still live in poverty. That’s 826,358 Missourians. And many of those people are children—260,867 children according to the US Census Bureau’s 2017 poverty data. This new report from the nonpartisan coalition is designed to educate and inform the public and policy makers across Missouri and the US. The report analyzes the five elements of poverty—economic and family security, education, food and nutrition, health, and housing and energy—and the impact each has on the well-being of individuals and families. Together these elements highlight poverty’s interconnected nature and the need for multi-dimensional solutions.

The 2018 Missouri Poverty Report shows not only data regarding factors that push people into poverty—affordable housing shortages, food insecurity, and increasing health care costs, among other things—but also data on what helps lift people out of poverty—strong support systems, safety net programs, organized community efforts, employment, and tax reform. This report pulls together publicly available data from sources such as US Census Bureau, USDA, National Center for Education Statistics, US Bureau of Labor Statistics and many others to paint a holistic picture of poverty. Data and statistics found within the report include:

  • Missouri Poverty Rates by County
  • Statewide Living Wage Averages for Missouri
  • Educational Attainment in Missouri
  • Unemployment and Earnings by Educational Attainment
  • Food Insecurity, Food Affordability and Food Desert Data
  • Medical Access Across Missouri
  • Poverty and Life Expectancy
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences and Outcomes
  • Fair Market Rent, Housing Wages, and Housing Shortages
  • Safety Net Programs Lifting Missourians Out of Poverty
  • Longitudinal Benefits of Head Start Programs
  • Positive Economic Impact of Safety Net Programs

All this and more is found within the pages of the 2018 Missouri Poverty Report, which is available for download at www.communityaction.org/poverty-reports/. This publication was produced in partnership with Missouri Community Action Network, which has convened Missourians to End Poverty since the coalition was formed in 2009. All Missourians are encouraged to download the report for personal education, local outreach, advocacy and informed decision making.

Missourians to End Poverty is a coalition of individuals, advocates, businesses, faith-based organizations, non-profits and government agencies that have come together around a shared vision—the vision of a just society of shared responsibility by individuals, communities, businesses, and government in which all individuals are respected, have opportunities to reach their full potential, and are embraced as participants in thriving, diverse, sustainable communities. The members of Missourians to End Poverty work toward this vision every day.

If you would like more information about Missourians to End Poverty’s 2018 Missouri Poverty Report, please contact Missouri Community Action Network’s Director of External Affairs and Missourians to End Poverty Chairperson, Jessica Hoey, at (573) 634-2969 ext. 31, or email jhoey@communityaction.org.

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The Shoebox Project: Managing the Paperwork of Everyday Living

i Mar 26th No Comments by

CLAIM’s community partner, Shepherd’s Center Central was highlighted on National Council on Aging (NCOA) webinar in February and highlighted on their website. Read the article below.

Established in 1972, Shepherd’s Center Central in Kansas City, MO, offers a variety of programs for seniors that are primarily volunteer driven at three sites throughout the metropolitan area. The Medicare Assistance Program (MAP) is available at two locations staffed by two part-time persons and 12 certified CLAIM (Missouri State Health Insurance Assistance Program) volunteer counselors. MAP is a multi-faceted program providing Medicare/Medicaid education and individual counseling for beneficiaries and caregivers, and includes the SHOEBOX Project, which began in 2015 with a MIPPA special projects grant from CLAIM and continues today.

The idea for the SHOEBOX Project originated with the Apple Project at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO, which has been doing similar work since 1993. The name alludes to the variety of containers in which people who come in keep personal paperwork, such as a grocery bag, big purse, backpack, or a box that originally held a pair of shoes. It also attempts to generally describe the services offered:

  • Simple applications, LIS/MSP, legal forms (POAs), rent rebate claims
  • Health insurance forms, notary services
  • Organization of personal paperwork
  • Education about Medicare, Medicaid benefits
  • Budget and financial guidance and referrals
  • One-on-one confidential assistance to assure the person that we care
  • Xtra help to sort what to keep and what to throw away

Services are provided in Shepherd Center offices, or in senior centers and apartment complexes, and are always free of charge.

Who is the target audience?

The target audience of the SHOEBOX Project is primarily, though not limited to, low-income seniors and disabled persons who may have limited education or cognitive issues, vision impairment, or those for whom English is a second language who need assistance in reading and understanding various forms and letters sent to them. The goal is to be in a position to screen and enroll this population in the various benefit programs for which they may qualify.

What do they do?

Man with shoebox of papersThe project is advertised to Shepherd’s Center’s large constituency on several social media outlets, and email blasts to various partners and agencies providing services to the aging community, including social workers, coordinators in senior apartment complexes, hospital case managers, etc.  A “counter card-style” publicity flyer with a distinctive logo was developed and widely distributed.

A cloth-like document bag, imprinted with the project’s contact information, is given to each client who comes for paperwork sorting, along with a set of neatly labeled folders in which to file important documents. The goal is to assist persons with organization, form completion, and education about what is junk mail and what is important to keep, thus reducing stress levels in their lives.

In 2016, a new feature was added to make the program more accessible, which is to provide a “Walk-in Center” at one site where people can come in without an appointment to be seen by a staff member or volunteer counselor. This service has attracted many who are new to Medicare, want to compare Part D plans, or seek other types of counseling, but who are not necessarily low income.  This prompted us the addition of a monthly “lunch and learn” class called Medicare 101.  This class is purposely kept small so that the dozen or so attendees can ask questions that are related to their individual situations.

What are the results thus far?

Response to the program seems to increase each year.  In 2015, the Shepherd’s Center set a goal of reaching 50 clients; 61 people were served.

In 2016, 87 people sought the services of the SHOEBOX Project, and in 2017, 156 were seen by a counselor and provided the various services. Walk-in Center hours have been increased from three hours on two days per week, to five days per week, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

For more information

Joyce White
816-753-7039