Approximately 15.3 percent of residents in of Mount Angel, Scotts Mills and Silverton have earnings that fall into the poverty rate. Statewide the number is 14.8 percent.
Concerned how poverty impacts not only the lives of those experiencing it but businesses, schools and other organizations, community leaders from Mount Angel, Scotts Mills and Silverton are collaborating to host Addressing Poverty Together. The event is 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 575 E. College St., Mount Angel. The event is $25 and includes lunch. To register, visit bit.ly/1eSX1Pz.
Scotts Mills Principal Marilyn Annen is helping to organize the event along with Lori Beamer, executive director of CoActive Connections in Salem.
Addressing Poverty Together is a poverty simulation and action-planning event. During the simulation, participants play the role of an individual experiencing poverty, interacting with other participants as family members. They navigate the poverty experience together, using available resources to pay their rent and utilities, eat, work, go to school, and seek community resources.
After the simulation, participants will work together to identify local barriers related to poverty and how they can collaboratively address those barriers in the tri-community area.
“The event is an opportunity for community members to experience what it is like to be in poverty for a month,” Beamer said. “It is just a glimpse but it gives community leaders a better understanding.”
Annen said there are many organizations dealing with poverty on their own. She said the event presents an opportunity for organizations and individuals to find ways to work together to address the issue.
“The key thing is to make people aware about what poverty is,” Annen said. “There is a lot of misunderstanding about poverty and this event gives participants a chance to walk in someone else’s shoes.”