Huntington, Ind.—Two Huntington University employees and an alumna have been part of the planning team for a poverty simulation.
Amber Brown, director of the Horizon Leadership Program; Deborah Van Meter, admissions counselor for the EXCEL Adult Degree Programs in Wabash; and Jenna (Rodgers) Strick, a 2006 Huntington University alumna, are all participants in the 2008 Huntington County Leadership Academy. Their project team is called Empowering Humanities, and it also includes Lisa Betzler, administrator for Kids Kampus.
The team is collaborating with the Purdue Extension of Huntington County to host a Community Action Poverty Simulation May 8 from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at the 4-H Community Building at Hier’s Park, 547 S. Briant St., Huntington.
This learning tool has been created as a way to help people understand the realities of poverty. During a simulation, 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 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 others.
Although play money will be used, CAPS is not a game. It is a simulation that enables participants to look at poverty from a variety of angles and then to recognize and discuss the potential for change within their local communities. The simulation 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 among policy makers, community leaders and others.
For more information, contact Purdue Extension of Huntington County at (260) 358-4826.
The event is sponsored by United Way of Huntington County.