Hundreds of people in Fauquier County live in poverty. For the most part, they go unnoticed and unseen by people living more comfortable lives. There are so many aspects to living with financial insecurity that it can be overwhelming even to think about it. But imagine how it must be for those who are living it.
Some view poverty as a stand-alone issue and find it easy to blame the poor for their plight. But the roots of poverty run deep and often can be traced to circumstances beyond people’s control.
On Sunday, October 16, from 2 to 5 p.m., Fauquier NAACP and the Virginia Cooperative Extension are holding a Community Action Poverty Simulation at Warrenton United Methodist Church. The simulation will allow individuals to “walk a month in the shoes” of someone facing poverty and to become aware of just how complex and interconnected issues of poverty really are.
Dr. Ethel Canty Bothuel, who leads Fauquier NAACP’s Religious Affairs Committee, says, “This is an opportunity for people to get more up close and personal with what it’s like to live in poverty. Sometimes our neighbors are suffering in silence.”
Dr. Bothuel says she is aware that we all have stress in our lives and that, in our fast-paced world, sometimes we’re all too busy just taking care of ourselves to notice what’s happening in the lives of others. “But there is such a joy in knowing about others and being able to be of service to them,” she adds. “It would be great if we could pay more attention to our neighbors, those who are well-to-do as well as those who are not. People living in poverty are not looking for a handout, they’re just looking for a hand up.”
On October 16, a panel of local experts will be on hand to discuss change initiatives right here in our community. The three-hour time frame for the program includes an introduction and briefing by the facilitator, the simulation exercise, and a guided debriefing in which participants and volunteers share their observations and insights from the activity
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