Stories of the Safety Net

Missourians across the state are sharing their stories of struggle and support, of hardship and hope. Read their stories to learn more about the state, federal, and local resources that help our neighbors lead healthy lives. Because when we look out for one another, we all see #TheNetBenefit.

Housing plays a critical role in our physical, mental, and emotional health. When people have a safe, affordable place to call home, they are less likely to have unmet health needs. As of January 2018, Missouri had an estimated 5,883 people experiencing homelessness on any given day, as reported by Continuums of Care to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Nearly 13 percent of Missourians were food insecure at some point during 2017. Safety-net programs like SNAP are working to change that by helping more than 840,000 Missourians who are struggling to put enough food on the table.

Health Care
In 2018, more than 976,000 Missourians were enrolled in MO HealthNet, the state’s Medicaid program, and able to receive affordable health care. Medicaid enrollees include working families, older adults, and people with disabilities.

Economic Support
In 2012, 38,454 Missouri families received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits. Nearly 50 percent of Missourians that received TANF benefits were less than 10 years old, and almost 80 percent of recipients were under 25 years old. Supplemental Security Income helps cover basic needs for 140k+ Missourians – a lifeline that helps our neighbors live independently and outside of costly institutional care, and allows them to thrive.

We all benefit when we come together to help people who are in need. It helps our children be healthier and better prepared to learn; our adults experience better health and economic self-sufficiency; and our communities thrive. No one person, organization, or program can lift up a community. The safety net touches us all, and it’s up to all of us to protect it for those who need it most.