According to OXFAM.org, 50 million Americans live in poverty, but with that comes many myths.
Like drug abuse, not wanting to find work or just the thought that poverty is a problem that other people deal with and it will never happen to you, but Minot State’s Community Action Program is burning those myths away.
“It’s eye-opening for everybody. They think that people in poverty — why don’t they just get a job; a lot of them are struggling, there’s people with disabilities, there’s elderly. They don’t have an opportunity to get a job or if they do have a job it’s not high enough paying,” said Cheryl Merck, Project Director.
The simulations reflected real-life situations that could easily occur and if dealt with wrong, could leave you penniless.
“I was the father of two…well, I had one child and I had a spouse, but our father-in-law lived with us. He had just had a stroke so he wasn’t able to do much on his own, but he also had bills of his own that we had to pay,” said Braylee Malaterre, Senior at MSU.
Which in reality added more stress.
“Being the only one working I was gone most of the time and I didn’t have time to do the other things like go and pay bills, grocery shopping, going to medical appointments with him and it was really hard because only having one income really made you realize how difficult some people have it,” Malaterre said.
And educational programs like these only helps to raise awareness.
“I think that it’s really important for us all to know what they’re going through because, even me, I didn’t grow up in that so just seeing and understanding the struggles that they are going through,” said Hannah Weidler, senior at MSU.
Planning ahead is something a lot of people don’t do well and in the blink of an eye, you and your family could easily find yourselves well below the poverty line.
“Forty-three percent of people can not pay a $400 emergency bill that comes up, and that was really surprising to me. A lot of people are just one paycheck or one emergency away from living in poverty,” Merck said.
Featured Image Photo Credits: Rick Heit Social Media Specialist