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Poverty Simulation Individual Reflection

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Margaret Fertig

Team 3



Poverty Simulation Individual Reflection

        In the poverty simulation I took part in, I was able to experience a financial position other than the one I was raised in. The family I was a part of in the simulation consisted of two parents and three children. We had two daughters and a son ages 16, 11, and 7 respectively. I was the mother of the family while another girl was the father of the family. The father of our family was laid off and so I was required to go to work part time at our local hospital, which was our only source of income. Our three children were in all in school but our oldest daughter was 7 months pregnant. Our family struggled the first week to get our basic needs met but after our first week, we thrived using the resources available in our community. Our situation was relatively normal save for the fact that we had a pregnant teenage daughter. We were lucky to have not been evicted during the simulation and although we struggled the first week with feeding our children and paying some bills, but by the second week we had paid off all out bills and bought groceries for the rest of the simulation with cash left over in the end. Because I grew up in a home with siblings and two parents, my simulation situation was relatively within the bounds of what I experienced growing up at home. The similarities between my home situation and my simulation situation limited how wide my eyes were opened and how I felt. I was comfortable throughout the whole simulation, even when we struggled. The simulation helped me realize that there are many different family structures that can be classified as “low income”. My family had two parents and a few kids but from the outside, you likely wouldn’t have known that we were a low income family that was in the hole a few hundred dollars at the beginning of each month. I was also surprised to learn about the plethora of services and agencies available to help people in low income situations. I was even more surprised to know that the majority of the programs available to people in low income situations are free or incredibly low cost. I was under the impression that these programs were not free and were incredibly difficult to enroll in. The simulation moderately effected how I think society should deal with poverty and low income issues. I think that the programs available to low income families and individuals are really beneficial but they could be more streamlined in order to limit the amount of funds lost to ancillary or useless programs. I also believe that we should reinforce the idea that accepting help from social programs isn’t the same as accepting your situation will never improve. People shouldn’t feel like they’re too proud to accept help from the community. Overall, the simulation was a great eye-opener for many people on campus and started a dialogue for how to address low income situations in our community and in the nation as a whole.



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