Missouri’s Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) is a unique workshop exercise that helps people better understand what life is like with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress.
Understanding the day-to-day reality of poverty is important for everyone involved in fighting poverty – from policymakers to service providers. Missouri’s COMMUNITY ACTION POVERTY SIMULATION (CAPS) is a unique tool that helps people begin to understand what life is like with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress.
During a simulation, participants role-play the lives of low-income families, including single parents, people with disabilities, and senior citizens on Social Security. The task of each family is to provide for food, shelter and other basic necessities during four 15-minute “weeks.” Families interact with community resources.
Although it uses “play” money, fictional scenarios and time limits, CAPS is not a game. It’s a simulation that enables participants to view poverty from different angles and then to discuss the potential for change within local communities. It’s designed to sensitize those who frequently deal with low-income families and to create a broader awareness among policymakers and community leaders.
If your organization is interested in having CAASTLC conduct a poverty simulation, please call us at (314) 446-4437.
Poverty Simulation Brochure – View the Poverty Simulation Brochure
REALITY ENRICHMENT AND LIFE LESSONS (REALL) SIMULATION
This hands-on simulation focuses on keeping youth in school and challenges them to think critically about how choices and decisions made in adolescence lead to rewards and consequences in adulthood. Middle and high schools as well as youth groups can request to participate in this impactful exercise.
The Reality Enrichment and Life Lessons (REALL) project is a simulation designed to challenge youth to think critically about how choices and decisions made in adolescence may have consequences in adulthood.
Participating youth are first given the life of someone who has made reactive or negative choices, such as dropping out of high school, having legal history, having a low-paying job, etc.
They are then given the life of someone who has made proactive or positive choices, such as graduating from high school, obtaining higher education, being employed at a living wage, having affordable childcare, etc.
Youth are challenged to live those two lives and compare the experiences to draw conclusions in their own lives. It is the expectation that youth will draw on their experiences at the Reality Enrichment and Life Lessons simulation to make proactive choices in their own lives, so they may know self-sufficiency in adulthood.
By reviewing various research outlets, it was determined youth would benefit from a project that would challenge their thoughts about decision making. Through Network collaboration, the Reality Enrichment and Life Lessons project was designed to help meet these goals.
This project was originally initiated by the Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation to assist facilitators as a tool to aide youth with development of life management skills, programs for self-improvement, and increased services for youth to prepare them for life after school.
View our REALL Simulation Brochure
(Above link requires Adobe Acrobat)