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What's it like to live in poverty? - KOAM TV 7

What's it like to live in poverty?

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What's it like to live in poverty?  That question was a big part of this year's Hope Conference in Joplin, sponsored by the Alliance of Southwest Missouri.  People were given situations similar to living in poverty.  Other topics discussed were ways to strengthen families, and other social issues.

Organizers say they've gotten some good feedback.

"I've heard, during lunch, when we were all together, talking to the participants, that it just really opened their eyes to how their clients are dealing with this everyday lifestyle and the struggles that they have to go through and it's things that, I know myself, probably don't think about on a daily basis.  But those people going through those struggles do.  So it really opens those eyes and you feel more compassionate to those individuals," says Stephanie Onstot with the Alliance of Southwest Missouri.

Onstot says the Alliance organization tries to help those in poverty year-round.

"We always try to teach you how to 'fish.'  And we have programs that will guide those individuals.  We partner with individuals, just to get the message out that we're here for you, we are a resource for you.  And we will teach you the tools and resources that you need to help yourself and your family," says Onstot.

"How it's cyclical and if you're in that cycle and you've grown up in that cycle, how to possibly get yourself out of that cycle.  Our poverty simulation actually includes educated providers and physicians and therapists, people like that, to be in the shoes of those who are struggling with poverty," says Onstot.

This is the eighth annual Hope Conference.  About 185 people signed up for this year's conference.

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