Experience life on the edge

Staff Writer
Nevada Journal

There has been much concern over the ability of affordable housing in Story County over the last year, and now residents are becoming increasingly aware that poverty exists right here. But do you actually understand the day-to-day struggles faced by families and individuals living on the edge? We invite community leaders and concerned citizens to challenge assumptions and take the poverty challenge by participating in the Community Action Poverty (CAP) Simulation.

The Volunteer Center is partnering with the Boys and Girls Club of Story County to present a CAP Simulation. Erika Peterson, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club, says, “The Boys & Girls Club of Story County wants to build awareness of the challenges facing the most vulnerable of our local citizens, our children.”

The simulation challenges participants to provide the basic necessities and shelter through four 15-minute “weeks.” Ashley Maurer, generation coordinator at the VCSC, says, “Basically, the goal you have is to survive a month, so people start to understand how difficult it is to get by day-to-day, let alone month-to-month. Each family group will face different challenges each week, such as a medical emergency, a broken-down car or school expenses for children. Peterson continues, “By collaborating with VCSC on the poverty simulations, we enable leaders in our community to ‘walk a mile’ in the shoes of families living in struggling situations. We hope that by cultivating this awareness, we will ignite a dialogue that will lead to positive transformation on a community level.” After experiencing the simulation, participants will have an opportunity to debrief about their experiences and get connected with local agencies to take action on creating a better standard of living for everyone in the county.

The simulation is Friday, Nov. 20 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club of Story County. Lunch will be provided to all participants by Tasteful Dinners. Interested participants can register at vcstory.org or by calling 515-268-5323. Goodwill donations to support the Volunteer Center of Story County and Boys & Girls Club of Story County are appreciated.