“I genuinely felt overwhelmed, angry…what I felt in that moment is just an ounce of what individuals living in poverty feel every day.”

– Jennifer Humphrey, BSW, MA, Licensing Associate Supervisor for FamilyForward

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 contact Marissa Muhammad 314-446-4437.

Click here to view our Poverty Simulation Brochure
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