Real Life. Real Choices. COVID-19 opens eyes to poverty experience
For nearly all of us in the workforce today, we’ve never before seen such a dramatic demonstration of the comfortable life led by middle class Americans (especially those of us working in a thriving tech community) as compared to the working poor and others living at or below the poverty line. As Human Rights Watch describes it “The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States has put a spotlight on economic inequalities and a fragile social safety net that leaves vulnerable communities to bear the economic brunt of the crisis.”
Of course, the virus doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor. The poor, however, are adversely affected at higher rates and to a much greater degree due to longstanding, addressable issues like segregation by income and race, reduced economic mobility and the high cost of medical care. These broad-theme problems are compounding factors that linger beneath the urgent challenges of higher food costs, increases in heating fuel as the weather changes, chaotic inconsistencies with school and child care policies that force unplanned expenditures and many more.
Through TechPoint’s continuing partnership with the United Way of Central Indiana, we are again offering a special and powerful opportunity to our friends and colleagues in the tech community to get a much better understanding of the significant and complicated challenges of poverty. For the fourth consecutive year, we will host a poverty simulation event—this year in an engaging new virtual format on Monday, Nov. 30 from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.
“There’s more sensibility to some of the hardships that people living in poverty face after what we’ve all experienced these past eight months due to the pandemic,” said Lauren Petersen, senior director of relationship management for TechPoint and a United Way of Central Indiana board member. “Whether you or someone you know has had the misfortune of being laid off, gone without certain essentials or experienced the isolation and distress of needing assistance for the first time, you might have a new appreciation for what far too many of our neighbors living in poverty go through every day.”
TechPoint encourages all of our subscribers and followers to take on the responsibility of learning more about the poverty struggle by attending the upcoming simulation event on November 30. It’s also a great opportunity for entire teams and staffs to use the interactive lunchtime seminar as a group education event.
Real Life. Real Choices.
Poverty simulation by United Way of Central Indiana supported by TechPoint
Mon, November 30, 2020
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM EST
What can you expect to learn from attending a poverty simulation?
People who attend a poverty simulation can increase their understanding of the dynamics of poverty and experience on a small scale the struggles many people in Central Indiana face on a daily basis. The poverty simulation event itself is experiential, it’s interactive, and it really opens people’s eyes to what it’s like to live with limited resources. It offers a glimpse into the struggles and decision-making process people living in Central Indiana go through while teetering on the edge, just one paycheck, just one illness, or just one car breakdown away from a personal catastrophe.
What will you actually do at a poverty simulation?
During the simulation, participants assume the role of a family member living on a limited budget, navigating through unforeseen circumstances. Then, participants learn about the services and opportunities that people living in poverty can utilize to become more self-sufficient. It is a very hands-on experience with educational elements presented by a facilitator. The hope is that participants will join us to become more aware of the complexities of poverty and learn how they can get involved in being part of the solution.