Oct. 12, 2012. Missions outreach groups for several Watauga churches have joined forces for a poverty simulation to take place at Boone United Methodist Church Thursday, Oct. 18 between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Watauga County, with a poverty rate of 25 percent, has one of the highest rates of poverty in North Carolina and while not as visible as poverty in N.C. cities, poverty is more prevalent in the High Country Mountains.
Hoping to call attention to their one-in-four neighbors living in poverty, St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal, Boone United Methodist, FaithBridge United Methodist, St. Luke’s Episcopal, High Country United Church of Christ and Holy Cross Episcopal got together with the Hospitality House to plan a poverty simulation that challenges local community members to experience what life is like living on the edge.
A poverty simulation is a unique tool that is used by churches and community agencies to educate everyone, from policy makers to local community leaders, about the day to day realities of life with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress.
During a simulation, participants role-play the lives of low-income families, from single parents trying to care for their children to senior citizens trying to maintain their self-sufficiency on Social Security. The task of each family is to provide food, shelter and other basic necessities during the simulation while interacting with various community resources staffed by low-income volunteers.
Participants will spend four 15 minute “weeks” living life in the shoes of someone in poverty in order to experience what someone in poverty goes through to live day to day. Although it uses “play” money, props, fictional scenarios, and time limits, it is not a game. It is a simulation tool that enables participants to view poverty from different angles in an experiential setting, while empowering low-income volunteers by allowing them an opportunity to interact with leaders from their community.
All are welcome to participate. A simple meal will be served at 5:30 p.m. To sign up as a participant or volunteer for this life changing experience, email [email protected] Space is limited to 150 people so sign up early for this eye-opening experience. You will never view poverty and its devastation the same way again.