CMCA forum generates talking points on poverty in Callaway County

About 17 people spent Wednesday afternoon helping Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA) better address poverty in Callaway County.

Librarians, case workers, United Way board members, school officials and county residents all turned out to CMCA’s Community Conversation, a poverty forum held to help CMCA in its three-year community needs assessment.

Talking points on poverty collected there are the last of several things the community poverty organization holds to better address the face of poverty in each of its service areas, including Callaway County. Others include surveys of families and individuals CMCA has serviced, partner agencies such as SERVE, Inc. and other people in the community.

CMCA Community Services Director Angela Hirsch facilitated the meeting, with help from Community Organizer Tad Dobyns.

Hirsch started with a number of statistics on poverty in Callaway to better inform those in attendance.

“I don’t want people to be caught up in the myths of poverty,” Hirsch said. “Things like ‘if they’d just get a job.’ If it was that simple, we’d have it figured out by now. Poverty is more like a spider web, there are a lot of different elements and if you’re just taking care of one piece, it doesn’t take care of the others.”

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