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Area residents take part in simulation

Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Poverty Simulation participants role play as members of the same family.

A man named Larry is 36, works full time, his wife Linda is unemployed, and his daughter Lily is active in sports while working part-time. Larry’s father-in-law Lester has partial paralysis after suffering a mild stroke.
With only $1,241 available after taxes along with Lester’s $330 in disability, the dollars available don’t go far to cover the $1,445 in expenses every month.
Vandalia area community members had the opportunity to role play as members of this family and many more during the Community Action Poverty Simulation presented by the CMCA at Van-Far High School on Wednesday, April 10.
It provided an opportunity for members of the community to “walk a mile in the shoes of families in poverty.”
The experience was divided into four 15-minute weeks in which participants must provide for their family while maintaining their home.
“Often the simulations causes people to stop and question the stereotypes that are often believed about those living in poverty; “they are lazy,” “they choose not to work,” “they don’t care about their kids,” said CMCA Community Services Director Angela Hirsch. “It also causes participants to realize that the issue of poverty is complex and not an issue that can be overcome by a single solution. The complexity of poverty involves education, opportunity, resources, personal relationships, knowledge, information and economics, just to name a few.”

Read more about the simulation in the April 17 issue of The Vandalia Leader. Sign up for an electronic edition at