Kalamazoo County Poverty Reduction Initiative Reducing Poverty Through Collaboration, Education, and Economic Opportunity Poverty Simulation Workshop Volunteer Training
The following presentation is an introduction to the Poverty Simulation Workshops and the role of the volunteer . Please read each slide carefully, as each one holds very important information .
Once you have completed the introduction you ready to volunteer!
To complete the new volunteer process, make sure you completed the “volunteer sign up” form found on our website under the “poverty simulation” tab.
You will also find workshop dates to sign up for on our website!
Thank you and see you soon at a up and coming workshop!
Poverty Simulation Workshops
As our key community education piece, the Poverty Simulation Workshops have proven great success throughout the Kalamazoo County community since 2006!
The structure of the workshop is a copy written tool that has been utilized across the country since the 1970’s.
What are the Poverty Simulation Workshops?
The poverty simulation work-shop is an experience designed to help participants begin to understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family, trying to survive from month to month. The object is to sensitize participants to the realities faced by low-income people.
In the simulation workshop, 50 to 82 participants are assigned to new identities as they enter the workshop, filling the roles of 26 different families facing poverty. The roles include, newly unemployed, recently deserted by the "breadwinner," recipients of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, formerly AFDC), either with or without additional earned income. Still others are
senior citizens receiving Social Security or grandparents raising their grandchildren. Together the new family members and neighbors, are given the challenge of making their ends meet. The participants will need to use the provided resources, their wit and creativity to make it through the month. The 2.5-3 hour workshop is broken up into two main parts. The simulation, which is divided up into 4 12-15 minutes weeks, signafied by a wistle.This is followed by a debriefing period, where participants will be able to hear from others and learn about the wide variety of experiences.
Goals of the workshop
Raise awareness of realities of poverty
Break down stereotypes and misconceptions
Cultivate community connection to systematic problems of poverty
Generate action toward change
Instill message of community responsibility
What it looks like
As you enter the room you will find the perimeter outlined with various tables that make up the “community resource” stations.
In the center of the room, are the family groups .
Each cluster of chairs represents a families home
The following slides show the layout of the entire space, community resources and family homes
What it looks like cont.
Bank Community Action Bureau Food-a-Rama Mortgage and Reality Pawn Shop Police Department Utility Company Department of Human Services School Daycare General Employer Interfaith Services Quick Cash Facilitator podium Jolly/Jacobi Kaminski/Knowles Locke/Louise Morris Nattin Olsen Perez Quant Rodgers Smith Tiskit Ussar Vimmer Wiscott Xanthos Yarrow Zuppot
The volunteers fill the roles of various community agencies and organizations.
Each workshop requires 20-25 volunteers!
Each community agency has a unique task
In many of the roles, there are two volunteers-partners
The workshops would not be possible without the wonderful volunteers! Thank you!
Each volunteer task is outlined in the “role instructions sheet”
As each one is unique, it is you responsibility to study the document for you role ahead of time.
One role requires that the volunteer speak ant language other than English, to give the participants the reality of not being able to communicate their needs. If you are bilingual, please inform the volunteer manager to aid the role assignment process.
Once you have signed up for a workshop date, the role you have been assigned to will be sent to you 10-7 days ahead of time.
You can find all the role instruction sheets on our website
If you have questions, feel free to contact Maggie, volunteer manager and event coordinator) 269-615-1383 firstname.lastname@example.org
While there will be some time the day of the event to ask questions, it is best to get them out of the way ahead of time.
This portion of the workshop can be the most impactful for both participant and volunteer!
Aside from the participants sharing their experience, feelings, lessons, challenges and conclusions; you the volunteer is invited to share your experience. Whether it’s a observation from the day, or a story from your personal life, you are welcome to share .
Believe it or not sharing your story of personal struggles in poverty means a lot to every participant and deepens the impact of the workshop greatly. So, if you feel comfortable sharing your message, you are more then welcome to, but not required.
Notes for all volunteers
Once you have studied your role instructions and asked any questions, you should be ready to go! Just a few reminders to help you on your way…
It is important that as a group we convey that the workshop is not a game. If we take it seriously, the participants will too.
You must take a transportation pass from every person that comes to you station
If you mess up, its ok it happens in the real world all the time. Most importantly, we are creating something as close to reality as possible
You must be flexile and be able to go with the flow! The role play nature of the workshop creates a situations that are unique to each group. Each group presents new challenges and questions, PRI staff will be there as a support through any hurtles, but essentially we can’t predict everything that will come up.
HAVE FUN! YOU ARE A INCREDIBLE ASSET TO OUR ORGANIZATION AND YOU COULD NOT DO IT WITHOUT YOU! THANK YOU
Now that you have completed the training introduction to the Poverty Simulation Workshop, please note the final check list below
Make sure you have filled out and sent the “volunteer sign up” form on our website, found under the “Poverty Simulation” tab
You can also sign up for a workshop date there.
If you would like to request a specific role, or are bilingual, please note that in the comments section
Once you have signed up for a workshop date, expect to receive a email with all the details 7-10 ahead of the workshop date with all the details.
Thank you for your time and interest! We look forward to meeting you soon!