The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

October 24, 2013

Program raises awareness on poverty

Institute — In an effort to raise awareness of how rising poverty rates impact many across the state, West Virginia State University will host a Simulation of Poverty program Saturday in the Wilson University Union from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This free program is designed to increase poverty awareness and address possible solutions to the problems faced by people trying to survive financially. Participants in the simulation experience “one month” of poverty in a real-time simulation as they role-play the lives of low-income families.

Family scenarios are given to participants who must decide how to seek services and support, obtain financial assistance and determine how to spend what little money the family has in order to survive. Some are Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients, some are disabled, and some are senior citizens on Social Security. Participants have the stressful tasks of providing basic necessities and shelter on a limited budget during four 15-minute “weeks.” They will interact with human services agencies, grocers, bill collectors, job interviews, police officers and others during the exercise.

 “The simulation is designed to raise awareness of the issues of people living in poverty and most importantly, it moves participants to action to make a difference. Although play money is used, it is not a game. It is a simulation that enables participants to look at poverty from a variety of angles and then to recognize and discuss the potential for change within their local communities,” said Barbara Cary, director of TRIO programs at WVSU. The simulation will be followed by a debriefing where participants can share insights of those affected by poverty.

 The program has been made available by W.Va. Pride Community Services of Logan County. In addition, Cold Hands Warm Hearts, a community organization, will be collecting clothing donations of gloves, hats and scarves to help the children of Logan County. Donations are being accepted at the Office of Student Activities in the University Union or in Room 219 of Sullivan Hall East.

Participation is open to the public, but registration is required. The simulation is sponsored by WVSU Office of Student Activities, WVSU Student Activities Council, TRIO programs and the state chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

For more information, or to register, contact Barbara Cary at 304-766-3088.

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