Monday, September 8, 2014

UIS hosts poverty simulation to demonstrate the challenges low-income families face

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield, in collaboration with the Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies, will host a poverty simulation designed to educate students, policy makers, and community leaders about the typical day-to-day challenges of low-income families.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WHERE: The Recreation & Athletic Center (TRAC) at UIS

DETAILS: The Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) objective is to help participants understand the challenges and barriers faced by real people struggling to make ends meet.

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

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

After the simulation participants will engage in an in-depth debriefing and discussion of their simulation experience, enabling participants to view the complexities of poverty from different angles.

The simulation is part of a War on Poverty Forum series which will also feature a screening of the film American Winter on Oct. 20 and a War of Poverty Panel Discussion on Nov. 12.

For more information, contact Lorena Johnson, program director in the UIS Institute for Legal and Policy Studies, at 217/206-6079 or

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