ABVI staff and board members recently participated in a Community Poverty Simulation coordinated by the Trident United Way. ABVI joined forces with East Cooper Community Outreach and Our Ladies of Mercy Community Outreach to give our staff and board members a deeper look at poverty from a variety of angles.

During the simulation, participants role-played the lives of low-income families. Some started the month with only $10 to meet their family’s basic needs. Some were TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) recipients, some were disabled and some were senior citizens on Social Security. Participants had the stressful task of providing for basic necessities and shelter on a limited budget. We interacted with human service agencies, grocers, pawnbrokers, bill collectors, job interviewers, police officers and others.

The simulation was designed to sensitize those who frequently deal with low-income families, as well as to create a broader awareness of the realities of poverty among policymakers, community leaders and others. We are so grateful to the Trident United Way for making this opportunity available in our community. We highly encourage other organizations in the Tri-County to reach out to the Trident United Way to learn about bringing this experience to your staff, supporters, volunteers or board members.

Photo Description: ABVI board and staff members after the Trident United Way Poverty Simulation – Dr. Jamie Hill (MUSC Storm Eye Institute); Carol Clement (CC&T Real Estate Services); Amy Asper (ABVI); Courtney Plotner (ABVI); Brooks Harken (ABVI); Anne Reid (ABVI) and Thomas Smythe (Mass Mutual).

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