Walk a While in These Shoes
A Poverty Simulation
Poverty walks among us. It’s our co-workers, our friends, our neighbors, it’s you and me. God created the first man and woman in paradise, where resources were plentiful and want was unnecessary. But with the fall of Adam and Eve came generation after generation where the resources we have fall short of the paradise God had once offered us. So often when we hear the word poverty, we think of people lacking physical resources: things like adequate food, shelter, clothing, and other things that money can buy. But poverty is so much broader and deeper than that! We meet people who live in spiritual poverty--they have no hope and put their faith in untruth. We encounter those with relational poverty—no support system and unhealthy relationships. We also see an abundance of emotional poverty: people who don’t see themselves as valuable...who haven’t learned trust and integrity, and lack motivation.
When looking at poverty alleviation efforts, it is important to recognize that all of these types of poverty—physical, spiritual, relational, and emotional—affect each other. That is why it is so important to look beyond the physical need and focus on the whole person behind the need.
In this 90 minute hands-on, interactive experience, participants walk through 2 months in the life of someone experiencing different degrees of poverty. To schedule a simulation for your group, please contact the Love INC office at (712) 324-9707.
Of the simulation, participants have said:
"The experiential learning through the poverty simulation had a profound impact. Operating in survival mode doesn’t allow you to think about much else, like being resourceful and solution oriented. Feelings of isolation, desperation set in quickly. The scenarios were spot on as to what our clients deal with on a regular basis. Summarizing and listening to insight from others at the end of the simulation helped identify poverty as being much more than financial."
--Maureen Hansen, Residential Manager, Residential Treatment Facility (Iowa Department of Corrections)
“The poverty simulation was very well done. I was highly engaged throughout the event. The scenarios presented and the choices I had to make were highly authentic and really helped me understand the challenges faced by people in my community. I left with a much greater awareness than I had before. I highly recommend this experience.”
--Pastor Dave Van Kley, Bethel Reformed Church, Sheldon
"It is well worth it for everyone to attend the Poverty Simulation by Love INC. This is a thoughtful, hands-on and engaging course in helping us all understand the many facets of poverty--spiritual poverty, emotional poverty, relational poverty and financial poverty. For most people, it will open our eyes to the poverty in our midst, right here in northwest Iowa. For some, particularly young people and others navigating life's difficult journeys, it will facilitate proactive good choices that might keep one out of poverty's clutches. We give the Poverty Simulation our heartiest recommendation."
--Steven Berntson, Love INC class facilitator and board of directors member