MONTGOMERY - River Region residents are invited to learn more about the challenges faced daily by impoverished families during a poverty simulation led by Troy University and Alabama Possible, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing poverty and its root causes.
The event will be held on Thursday, Feb. 19, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Troy University's Montgomery Campus. Admission is free and open to the public, but participants are asked to RSVP at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/montgomery-poverty-simulation-registration-14576070419.
During the event, participants will work through a simulated month of what many area families living in poverty experience each day. To help Alabamians understand the challenges these families face, Alabama Possible uses the Community Action Poverty Simulation created by the Missouri Association for Community Action. During the simulation, participants role-play the lives of low-income families during the course of four, 15-minute "weeks."
"Our program gives participants a chance to experience the grinding realities of poverty," said Kristina Scott, executive director of Alabama Possible. "Simple tasks like getting to and from work can become overwhelming, which is hard for most of us to understand. This simulation is based on real-life scenarios and expenses, and it gives participants a chance to understand why it is so hard to 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps.'"
According to the 2014 Alabama Possible Poverty Data Sheet, nearly 900,000 Alabamians, including 300,000 children, live below the federal poverty line. Many more hover just above the poverty line, which is an annual income of about $23,000 for a family of four. In Montgomery County alone, 21.7 percent of residents live below the poverty line, including 31.3 percent of all children under the age of 18.
"We are thankful for our partnership with Alabama Possible and the work they do across a number of fronts to confront poverty across the state of Alabama," said Jonathan Cellon, Coordinator for Service Learning and Civic Engagement at Troy University. "The poverty simulation will give our students and the Montgomery community an opportunity to understand the complexities of navigating poverty, the hard choices individuals are forced to make in order to make it month to month, and the emotional burden and work required for self-sufficiency."
For more information, contact the Office of Service Learning and Civic Engagement at 334-808-6349.