What does a day in the life of a two- or four-person household living in poverty look like? What does it feel like to have to choose between baby formula and diapers? How can poverty affect and control even the smallest portions of life?
The Poverty Simulation, hosted by Stephen F. Austin State University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, aims to address these questions and others through a simulated poverty experience.
“The Poverty Simulation is designed to help participants begin to comprehend what it might be like to live in poverty from week to week,” said Veronica Beavers, OMA director. “Participants will experience some of the daily challenges a family in poverty may endure through a simulated experience. I hope participants gain understanding and awareness of poverty in society. I also hope that participants become empathetic to what some families deal with day to day.”
Budgeting is a focus of the simulation; however, the psychological stress families in poverty endure also will be discussed.
The OMA partnered with the East Texas Human Needs Network, which conducts the simulation. The OMA also is interested in collaborating with other Nacogdoches organizations for volunteers. Any person interested in volunteering can sign up at sfasu.edu/oma.
Two Poverty Simulation sessions are being offered. The first will be at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, and the second at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, both in the Norton H.P.E. Complex on the SFA campus. The event is open to the SFA and Nacogdoches communities. It will last approximately two to three hours.
Seats are limited for this event. Preregister by Wednesday, Sept. 27, on the OMA website.
By Christine Broussard, senior marketing communications specialist at Stephen F. Austin State University.