Clintonville to host simulation
By Erik Buchinger
CAP Services and Mission of Hope House will host a poverty simulation at Clintonville High School on Monday, April 2.
The poverty simulation is designed to help individuals increase their awareness of the situations and decisions low-income households experience.
CAP Services Innovation and Engagement Coordinator Erin Olson said participation is limited to 100 people, including volunteers for the event.
“This is an opportunity for people to step into the role of an individual or family member that is living on a limited income and to navigate challenges that families experience,” Olson said. “This includes how they take care of the household, paying bills, getting to their job on time and their children, hoping to improve their situation.”
In the simulation, participants are assigned a role in the family unit and interact with community resources stationed around the room to find or maintain employment, buy groceries, seek social services and pay bills.
“The simulation experience runs one hour where we have people trying to navigate different scenarios, and we conclude with a debriefing of the experience,” Olson said. “A simulation can never capture reality, but hopefully it can help somebody going forward.”
Olson said CAP Services facilitates poverty simulations in a five-county region, which includes simulations for college kids on an alternative spring break, businesses for team building and the community at large.
“We’ve definitely gotten a lot of remarks that it’s eye-opening,” Olson said. “For a lot of people, we have perceptions of what it means to make those calls when money is tight when you’re in the situation that’s in front of you. Making those choices can be more challenging than anticipated, and it definitely spurs a lot more understanding from people.”
Olson said the family scenarios discussed include grandparents raising grandchildren, siblings as the head of households, adults with limited mobility, among other things.
“We try to hit the broad range,” Olson said.
Olson said this is the first time in the five years she has been with CAP Services that a poverty simulation is coming to Clintonville.
“We’re excited to bring it to the Clintonville community,” Olson said.
Olson said CAP Services has worked with the MOHH in the past, but this is the first time the two are working together for a poverty simulation.
Participation is limited, but people can register by calling Bethany Evangelical Free Church at 715-823-2770. Call between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesdays or Thursdays, or leave a message.
Olson asks people to RSVP by Wednesday, March 28.