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Poverty Simulation

The Community Action Poverty Simulation is a unique tool that community action agencies are able to use to educate everyone, from policy makers to local community leaders, about the day to day realities of life with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress.  CAPS  is a copyrighted tool made available by Cornerstone Community Action Agency to educate your organization that want to promote a greater understanding of poverty.


During a simulation, participants role-play the lives of low-income families, from single parents trying to care for children to senior citizens trying to maintain their self sufficiency on Social Security.  The task of each family is to provide food, shelter and other basic necessities during the simulation while interacting with various community resources staffed by low-income volunteers.


Although it uses “play” money and other props, fictional scenarios, and time limits, CAPS is not a game.  It is a simulation tool that enables participants to view poverty from different perspectives in an experiential setting.


A simulation requires between 42 and 72 participants, as well as volunteers or resource persons and space of at least 2,000 square feet.  The simulation takes approximately three hours to complete.  This includes orientation, the four-15 minute weeks, and a debriefing period at the end of the simulation.


Who might participate in a poverty simulation?  Local human services personnel, church staff, volunteers and clergy, school faculty, college students, community leaders, officials and policymakers, employers, law enforcement officials, physicians and many others.


If your organization is interested in having Cornerstone Community Action Agency conduct a poverty simulation, please contact us at (325) 625-4167.

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