Tight Budgets & Tough Choices: Poverty, Decisions, and Why Legal Aid Matters
People who live in poverty find themselves in a state of almost constant stress and turmoil, struggling with a host of issues that prohibit them from living healthier and more stable lives. Studies have shown that poverty impacts everything from a person’s physical health to their ability to engage in long-term planning and effective decision making. The good news is that when a person living in poverty can find help to resolve the civil legal issues that impact their lives, there is a real opportunity for them to escape the cycle of poverty for good.
Presented by LAF, Tight Budgets & Tough Choices is an engaging training, designed to place participants in the shoes of the people LAF helps every day. It is a 90-minute on-your-feet experience that immerses participants in the sorts of decision-making and planning that are the everyday reality for people living in poverty. It is not a group performance or role play; it is an individual exercise in empathy. Participants will learn how solving a legal problem can have a transformative impact on a client’s life – and the dire consequences that can arise if someone does not have access to legal help – as well as the breadth of legal solutions that LAF can provide.
In this exercise, participants are asked to play the role of a head of household who is working and living in poverty. There will be a series of events that happen in her life, and participants will make decisions about what to do in response, using the “money” and “goodwill” given to them at the start of the exercise. The goal of the exercise is to keep your family housed and with their basic needs met for 9 months and to keep your children on track, in school, and safe from harm.
This 90-minute training is approved for 1.5 hours of Illinois MCLE ethics credit.