Free Riding: the Chicago Poverty Challenge

I was sitting up reading my email, and I ran across an email discussing that the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign was hosting a poverty simulation on campus. I immediately read briskly to see if I can have some external input about this poverty simulation at UIUC, because many years at University of Illinois at Chicago campus I complained that professors were too unilateral in their lectures and research. Professors at UIC always focused on phenomena that impacted the rich in Chicago. I disagreed throughout by saying refocus their lectures and research on phenomena that impacted the poor in Chicago, and watch and see what God will do.

With my usual academic disgruntle with UIC, UIUC, and UIS, I began to a google search about the poverty simulation. First of all, I came across some conflicting information in Will County, Illinois about poverty simulation. I was too lazy to call Joliet Junior College to see if they knew anything about the poverty simulation in southern Illinois. That would take too long, because they would say, “Smith, come teach GED to figure that out!” Secondly, and most importantly, I discovered the sister school of DePaul University, none other than the Basketball NCAA finalists, Loyola University Chicago was hosting the poverty simulation. I amazingly missed the poverty simulation that was hosted by Loyola University School of Social Work, because I am currently a Master’s Candidate at DePaul University. Yes, this would work because I am still at UIC Jane Addams School of Social Work.

I had one concern after watching the video of the poverty simulation at Loyola. The School of Social Work said the poverty simulation was a simulation and not a game. I began to pray and intercede before God about the poverty simulation. I began to focus my devotion on poverty in the black church. For many years, my family and I have been under the attack of the devil in the area of financial stability. Sometimes my family had money and sometimes that didn’t while I was attending college at UIC. I began to ask the Lord during my freshman year, why was finances sporadic in my household, because they did pay tithes and offerings to the church. By senior year going into graduate school, the lord prompted me to do a lot, because my family’s behavior towards me while in college seemed abnormally sporadic.

The Lord recalled to my mind that I would have to depend on what I learned at UIC to eradicate the sporadic behavior with my family members about financial instability, because it has caused a lot of hurt, pain, and even confusion. God says in his word, He is not the author of confusion. God also says in His Bible, money answers all things. After, my family and church turned their back on me, that was my last straw with accepting the foolish tactics of Satan. I amazingly got accepted to DePaul University for graduate school. The Lord showed up there in my very darkest hour about bringing reconciliation to my family. The Lord recalled to my mind that I would have to fight Satan with what I learned at UIC and DePaul University.

To this day, my prayers and meditations are focused up to the Lord on how to deliver my family out of the jaws of Satan, because poverty causes family inequality. My family put me out of their apartments or homes for no reason. Once they threw me out, I have lost contact with my family because of a lack of financial education. The Lord had lead me to a stronger Google search about the poverty simulation at Loyola University Chicago. I ran across an article by Andreas Diekmann from the University of Munich. Diekmann from the University of Munich goes on to say in his abstract, “There is a great incentive for “Free Riding” than for the production of the collective good at the cost of the volunteer”.

Volunteers do not do good in helping others that are living with poverty in Chicago, that is the purpose of Free Riding: the Chicago Poverty Challenge. Poverty is a challenge to overcome in the body of Christ in Chicago. Volunteers who are donors that work in shelters in Chicago do not see poverty as a challenge among recipients using the services. Diekmann further points out in his abstract that diffusion of responsibilities causes a social trap or development trap. The purpose of Free Riding: the Chicago Poverty Challenge is to deduce the social trap of poverty.

Poverty is a social trap, because it is demonic. The spirit of poverty is a stronghold that must be broken over every believers life in the city of Chicago. Poverty in the city of Chicago is caused by a number of different things. According to Wikipedia, there are seven life shocks that result from the vicious cycle of poverty.

The donor who volunteers in shelters are unaware that these seven life shocks impacts recipients. The first life shock is divorce or relationship breakup. People usually breakup from their partner because a lack of finances in the household. Usually, one partner is unreal or immature about keeping finances as the central part of any relationship.

Secondly, an unexpected or substantial drop in income could be another life shock. Sometimes, while I was going to college, I would go to church to balance the craziness of university life. Sometimes, my family members, relatives, and friends would be praising and shouting as they heard the bread of life go forth on Sunday, but after service, the glow burnt out. I would asked them what’s wrong, they shrugged their shoulders as if nothing was wrong . Well, I refused to accept the handy work of the devil. The Lord prompted me by saying, just pray, and I’ll explain the rest later. Also, Eric, binding and loosing the devil over your family members, relatives, and friends unexpected drop in income was not enough! Sometimes, my family members, relatives, and friends threw me out of their apartments and homes in such a carnal way, because they did not admit to me in devotion an expected loss in income. I guess they didn’t want me to ask, how did their income drop all of a sudden.

Also, getting evicted from your apartment or room by your landlord is another life shock. I have some experience with eviction. I was almost finishing my junior year at Providence Saint Mel High School when this life shock occurred. One day, I was on my way home from school and got to the front of the courtway all of our stuff was sitting on the grass. I had immediately called a family member, who got me help through Southside Tabernacle Assembly of God. My pastors are still my heroes from encouraging me through a difficult situation like being evicted from our apartment. It was difficult for me in high school, because I blamed myself, my mother, and my father, who was barely around when family problems occurred at home. Sometimes, Christians don’t go to the pastor correctly or even admit that they have been evicted from their apartments. Sometimes, after Sunday morning service, a sister or mother in church would pull me over to the side and tell me brother been everywhere or sister did it all family have been put out on the street, bro Eric can you give a love offering?

Also, another life shock that Christians encounter is being laid off from a job.   A job is important for a Christian to have when the world comes against us strongly in the area of financial stability.


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