April 4, 2018–Could you survive a month in poverty? In 2015, almost 11% of families with related children under the age of 18 in Alexandria City lived below the poverty line. Alexandria also maintains the highest percentage of students, 63%, receiving free and reduced lunches in Northern Virginia, with double or triple the rate of their neighbors in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties. For those of us who have enough, it is difficult to truly understand the stress families living in poverty experience every day – the constraints that become barriers to escape.
That is why we are inviting you to walk a mile in their shoes. Join us on April 28th from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. As a participant in the Community Action Poverty Simulation – or CAPS – you will assume the role of a low-income family member living on a limited budget. You may be a mom with two kids, or a dad who’s just been laid off. You could be disabled, or a senior citizen on social security. Whatever your circumstances, your goal will be to keep a roof over your head and pay your bills during the course of four 15-minute “weeks”.
While trying to meet your basic needs, you will interact with human service agencies, schools, employers, pawn shops, payday lenders, and the health care system.
Although play money is used, CAPS is not a game. It is a simulation that will enable you to look at poverty from a variety of angles. We hope it will give you a broader awareness of the reality of poverty. It is a challenge for those who must struggle in it, and for our entire community.
“Nearly 1 in 5 American children are living in poverty. Two-thirds live in working families. Because of the challenges these youngsters face living in poverty, their health suffers as does their performance in school. Every year that we keep children in poverty costs our nation half a trillion dollars in lost productivity, poorer health, and increased crime.” — Child Defense Fund
Participation will be open to individuals over the age of 18, so we encourage you to invite friends and family. REGISTER HERE.