Poverty Simulation Training
The Community Action Poverty Simulation is a profoundly moving experience. It moves people to think about the harsh realities of poverty and to talk about how communities can address the problem. Most importantly, it moves people to make a difference.
The Missouri Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) is a learning tool created to help people understand the realities of poverty. It consists of an experiential portion as well as a reflection debrief afterwards. During the simulation exercise, participants role-play the lives of low-income families. Some are TANF recipients, some are disabled, and some are senior citizens on Social Security. They are assigned to family units and have the stressful task of providing for basic necessities and shelter on a limited budget during the course of four 15-minute “weeks.” They interact with human service agencies, grocers, pawnbrokers, bill collectors, job interviewers, police officers and other community members. Each family tries to provide food, shelter and other basic necessities, including health care needs, for themselves and their loved ones. The simulation enables participants to look at poverty from a variety of angles and then to discuss the potential for change within their local communities. It was designed to sensitize those who frequently deal with low-income families, as well as to create a broader awareness of the realities of poverty. It is a valuable learning experience for students We are in need of volunteers to serve in various roles in the simulated community such as banker, social worker, employer, etc. If you are interested in participating in the simulation or willing to volunteer in the role of a community organization, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.