Heartland employees learn what it's like to live below poverty line

Heartland employees learn what it's like to live below poverty line (Photo: Amber Draper/KTVO)

A poverty simulation took place at Kirksville High School on Thursday, hosted by the Community Action Partnership of Northeast Missouri.

The event is a workshop where people assume the lives of those living in poverty.

During the two-hour event, participants received information detailing their new life as a member of a low-income family.

Participants then traveled to different resources in the event room, like social services, employer and childcare.

The goal is to provide for your assumed family by paying for bills, childcare, meals and transportation all while living below the poverty line.

The event is designed to give people a glimpse of what it's like to live in poverty by having participants go through the physical and emotional experience.

The event in Kirksville was intended for those who work with people in poverty on a daily basis.

While it is easy to look at Poverty Simulation as a game because participants use fake money and props, Outcome and Quality Insurance Director for the Community Action Partnership of Northeast Missouri Andrea Davis says the event is not a game, but a chance to gain an understanding of the challenges those in poverty face.

“ I think there is a very negative perception that people in poverty are lazy or that they are not doing enough and one thing this simulation really accomplishes is showing how hard you have to work just to make ends meet when you're in poverty.”

Davis says by age 60, 80 percent of Americans will have experienced hardship near or below the poverty line.

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