Williams Lake residents are invited to participate in a poverty simulation experience on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the Gibraltar Room. Photo submitted

Poverty simulation experience planned for Williams Lake

Thrive Williams Lake and United Way Thompson Cariboo Nicola invite residents to participate

The Williams Lake community is invited to participate in a poverty simulation experience on Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Offered by Thrive Williams Lake and United Way Thompson Cariboo Nicola the evening will give people the opportunity to learn about the realities and challenges of living on a low income, said Anne Burrill of Thrive Williams Lake.

“It will not focus just on people who are on social assistance but a whole variety of different kinds of experiences,” she said. “There are people working in minimum wage jobs, stuck in unsustainable part-time work and things like that. We will also look at how we as a community can work together to help make some changes.”

Most of the people living in poverty are not there because they are wanting to be there.

Read more: Project seeks input from people experiencing poverty in Williams Lake

“It’s often the result of a series of unfortunate life circumstances that people end up where they are. When we look at the mill closures and curtailments and Mount Polley Mine closing and the economic challenges we have as a community, people can very quickly go from being just fine to really struggling.”

Canada’s public safety net is not designed necessarily to help people lift back up into self-sustainable lifestyles, she added.

Registration will be open until the middle of the day on Monday, Oct. 28 by going signing up online at www.wlspc.ca/poverty-simulation.

Pre-registration is required as dinner will be served and the organizers need to know how many participants to plan for.

The event will take place at the Gibraltar Room at the Cariboo Memorial Complex.

When people arrive they will be assigned a role as a member of a family for the simulation experience and will move through a simulation of a month in the life of that family.

After the simulation there will be a debriefing, Burrill said.

Read more: Free workshop aims to find solutions for poverty


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