United Way to host Poverty Immersion Experience to increase understanding of what life is like for people living in poverty in Mesa County

The Poverty Immersion Experience allows participants to spend a simulated month in the life of an individual who is experiencing poverty in Mesa County. It is an interactive event that promotes awareness of poverty in Mesa County, increases understanding of people facing poverty situations and that will inspire local change. The intent is to shift the belief and paradigm about poverty from being seen as a personal failure or character flaw to the understanding that poverty is a systemic and societal issue.

The experience offers a unique opportunity to step into the shoes of a low-income family, navigating life with limited resources, while providing for their children and accessing essential community services.

Weak, barely-legible signage was a weak and ineffective early attempt to address homelessness and poverty in Grand Junction

Through the simulation, participants will gain insight into the structural barriers and emotional challenges that individuals living in poverty face on a daily basis.  Understanding the tough decisions they must make, the fears they must confront, and the frustrations they endure on a daily basis can help our community create more meaningful support systems.

Please note – this experience is not a game! This simulation is designed to help participants begin to understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family trying to survive month to month.

(Photo credit: KKCO 11 News)

The Experience will be held at the Mesa County Workforce Center, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 29, 2024. Participants are asked to be present for the entire event. Water and light snacks will be available, but participants are encouraged to eat lunch prior to the event.

Attendance is limited to 80 participants.

It is free to participate in the Experience, but United Way asks that people register at this website first so organizers have an idea of the number of people who will be attending.

The event is a part of the United Way of Mesa County United to Solve Homelessness program, a community-based education and outreach program to raise awareness, inspire solutions, and work towards solving the issue of homelessness in Mesa County. United Way of Mesa County has partnered with several local organizations that work in this field to assist in the planning and implementation of this program.

For questions, email info@uwmesacounty.org or call 970-243-5364

  4 comments for “United Way to host Poverty Immersion Experience to increase understanding of what life is like for people living in poverty in Mesa County

  1. I hope the immersion experience includes riding the bus to accomplish daily and weekly errands, especially govt related errands that must be accomplished in one day.

  2. I participated in the public one last year. I can tell you the experience is visceral. I urge everyone who can to find time for this. A truly “uncomfortable truth”

  3. Empathy come from experience, and would dare to guess those whom cast endless dispersions on the homeless, seek to identify GJ as a non-sanctuary city, or otherwise promote a sickening sense inhumanity have never faced any such hardship in their entire lives let alone skipped a meal.

    From all the churches around town, there certainly seems more devout interest in providing tax-shelters for this community than actual services…nevermind those giant houses of worship practicing what they preach about acting out of compassion for their suffering fellow man/women/children. As far as I can tell, the combined effort from the city on this issue, beyond numbskull actions like closing parks, is essentially “we’ve tried nothing, and are all out of ideas!”

  4. The Ute nation placed a curse on this valley. T he White person that took over would have no profits or prosperity is the pay back. The negative energy resides to this day. On top of that, the big picture is so many people are ‘poverty conscious’ that the trail is handed down by earlier generations. It’s in people’s genes. You think in terms of being poor, then that belief will keep you poor. It’s a perspective I have gleaned from reading a lot of thinking positive books and the power of words and thoughts. There is richness inside of ourselves if we let it live, agree to it and prosper from it in other ways. Solutions and innovation! M y best wishes to families in need. I get that part completely. I empathize with their struggles.

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