Shiawassee Hope is offering a free, informational class for individuals who would like to understand poverty, including what causes poverty and its effect on people who live in it. The Poverty 101 class will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at the Shiawassee RESD, 1025 N. Shiawassee St. in Corunna. Marlene Webster, executive director of Shiawassee Hope, will lead the class.

“No matter where we live or work, chances are we regularly encounter people who live in poverty. Often we have opinions about choices we see people making and ideas about how we could help. The reality is that, unless we have lived in poverty it’s difficult to understand the experience or to connect with people to provide real help and hope. Poverty 101 will give you tools to help you understand the causes of poverty, to communicate and connect with people who live in poverty, to become an advocate armed with facts rather than myths, and to help our neighbors get access to the resources and opportunities they need to move out of poverty toward a sustainable living,” says Webster.

Past participants in Poverty 101 report that attending this class completely changed their view of poverty and gave them insights to help them better connect with people. Laura Burroughs, Shiawassee YMCA CEO/Executive Director said, “Poverty 101 was an eye opening lesson for me, somebody who has lived and worked in Shiawassee County since 1994. In various professional roles I have held, I have worked with many individuals who were living in generational poverty, as well as with many agencies and nonprofit organizations who support (and continue to support) families in poverty. I was both shocked and saddened to learn the current economics of families who struggle at or below the federal poverty level. I will take what I’ve learned and continue to collaborate with other nonprofit and agency professionals who also dedicate themselves to helping others. I recommend Poverty 101 to anybody who is interested in understanding their community in a very meaningful way, in terms of family and money.”

Interested individuals are asked to please RSVP by calling Samantha at (989) 402-8079, or emailing

Understanding Poverty Class was last modified: October 23rd, 2017 by Karen Elford