FAIRBORN — Community members and organizations are invited to participate in the Cost of Poverty Experience, or COPE, on Monday, March 20, for a glimpse into the lives of low-income individuals and families.
Susan Lopez, from the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Family Resource Center, urged the county commissioners at the Feb. 16 commissioners’ meeting to attend and spread awareness of COPE.
Lopez said that COPE would be beneficial to individuals and organizations working with families in poverty, or anybody that wanted to gain a new perspective and have a better ability to address the issues of poverty.
“It’s going to teach you how the process works for a person living in poverty — it gives you a perspective of what it’s like, why it’s hard,” Lopez explained. “If you attend this you will come up with an understanding of how we in the county and in the communities need to work with people better.”
Participants in the event will get a chance to look into obstacles that families face, decisions that have to be made, and the consequences of each decision. COPE was co-designed with low-income individuals who have shared their stories for the program.
COPE will be held 9-11:30 a.m., Monday, March 20 at Abiding Christ Lutheran, 326 E. Dayton Yellow Springs Rd., Fairborn. Participants can register for free online at Eventbrite by visiting http://bit.ly/2lTxWSa.
The organization that is bringing COPE to Fairborn is called Greene County Connections.
According to Lopez, Greene County Connections works with county families living in poverty, in which a “mentor” partners with a family or individual. The mentor and family meet with each other every week for eighteen months, requiring a commitment from each side.
COPE also gives perspective into why this organization is so important, Lopez explained to the commissioners.
“To have that person standing beside you to say ‘It’s alright, come on. This is one step. Tomorrow is another day.’,” Lopez said. “Otherwise they don’t have that.”
Greene County Connections is seeking additional mentors. Call Susan Lopez for more information at 937-760-4431.
Reach Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.