LIFTopolis is a unique event sponsored by LIFT, a non-profit organization devoted to establishing “a new standard for holistic and enduring solutions in our country’s fight against poverty.”
During the course of two days, LIFTopolis attendees (including social workers, social work educators and students) engage in an interactive simulation where they’re asked to “navigate the complex process of obtaining stable housing, employment and other basic needs when living in poverty.” In short, participants spend time walking in the shoes of the men, women, and children they provide, or will provide, services to.
This year, BC Social Work Director of Field Education Sue Coleman took part in LIFTopolis for the first time, assuming the identity of a 78-year-old recent widow with a monthly budget of $1,000 per month. Even though LIFTopolis was only a simulation, Sue says she felt incredibly stressed and frustrated.
“This was an eye-opening experience that could serve as a great resource for many in the field of social work,” she says, adding that she hopes that, in the future, more and more BC students and alumni might be able to take part.
To learn much more about Sue’s experience at LIFTopolis, read the full Q&A at BC Social Work’s website.