If you haven't walked in the shoes of someone who deals with living in poverty, you may not fully understand or appreciate the hardships that those individuals and families face on a regular basis.
Circles of McPherson County is hosting an event Saturday that is looking to open some eyes, however, to those difficulties. Circles coach Rebecca Lewis says they are planning a poverty simulator for Saturday at the First United Methodist Church in McPherson, in which participants are assigned a character, complete with a family.
“They're given kind of a scenario and some resources to start the month,” Lewis said. “The idea is to keep your kids in a house, keep them fed, keep the lights on and get them to school, as well as transportation stuff. It really is the sharpest tool that I know of to help people walk a few steps in someone's shoes that are in survival mode.”
Lewis says that Circles Director Brenda Sales and herself have both attended similar simulators in other cities, and the participants all come away with a better understanding of a section of our society they haven't had much exposure to.
“Until we can share the way that our worlds' look and work, it's hard for people to understand each other,” Lewis said. “The simulations that both Brenda and I have attended, people have come away going, 'Oh, no wonder we're seeing people do some of the things that they do and are making some of the choices that they make.'”
Lewis says she has nearly 70 signed up for Saturday's simulation, with the goal to have 77.The simulation will run from 9 a.m. until noon.
If you are interested in participating, or would like to know more about the simulation, contact Circles of McPherson County at 241-9011.