Will you start out the month with only $10 to meet your family's basic needs? Or will you be one of the even unluckier ones? You can find out on November 3 or 4 at poverty simulation workshop sponsored by Lutheran Services in Iowa.
The poverty simulation experience is designed to help participants begin to understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family trying to survive from month to month. The object is to sensitize participants to the realities faced by low-income people.
In the simulation, 40-85 participants assume the roles of up to 26 different families facing poverty. Some are newly unemployed, some are recently deserted by the "breadwinner," and others are recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), formerly AFDC, either with or without additional earned income. Still others are senior citizens receiving Social Security or grandparents raising their grandchildren. The task of the "families" is to provide for basic necessities and shelter during the course of four 15-minute "weeks."
The simulation is conducted in a large room with the "families" seated in groups in the center. Around the perimeter are table representing community resources and services for the families. The experience lasts from two to three hours. In a debriefing period, participants and volunteer staffers share their feelings and experiences and talk about what they have learned.
The simulation will offered Storm Lake on Friday, November 3, 1-4:30 p.m., St. Mark Lutheran Church; and Saturday, November 4, 9-12:30 p.m., Dows Conference Center, Siebens Forum, Buena Vista University. Call the St. Mark Lutheran Church at 712-732-5255 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to register by October 27.