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New interactive tool gives users glimpse at life in poverty

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Posted at 4:26 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 16:26:14-05

HOLLAND, Mich. — A newly-launched interactive learning tool, “Making Ends Meet,” will give individuals and businesses a look into the struggles that thousands of families living on the edge of poverty go through every day in the lakeshore region of West Michigan.

The project is a collaboration between Greater Ottawa County United Way and Grand Rapids-based design and development firm Well Design Studio, a news release said Tuesday.

“Making Ends Meet” allows users to follow the lives of four families for one month as they try to balance money and stress.

Participants choose between four characters – a single person, a single mother, an older couple and a family with two children – and allows them to understand the burdens placed on all of these household types.

They’re then challenged to see if they can make it through all 30 days.

“It’s no secret that people in poverty have a hard time meeting their basic needs, but so do many families with incomes above the federal poverty level,” said Patrick Moran, president of Greater Ottawa County United Way.