Press release from CANI:
CANI to host poverty simulation
Community members can experience the virtual realities of poverty in a unique simulation hosted by CANI (Community Action of Northeast Indiana) from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on May 20 at The Freemasons Hall, 216 E. Washington Blvd., Fort Wayne.
Designed by the Missouri Association for Community Action, the Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) was created to help people better understand the realities of poverty. CAPS enables participants to look at poverty from a variety of angles and then to recognize and discuss the potential for change within their local communities. Locally, the Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network (INRN) is partnering with CANI to execute the simulation.
Participants will include local civic and community leaders and staff members of various businesses and human service agencies.
“This program helps people understand the complexities and frustrations of living in poverty day to day,” said Steve Hoffman, CANI Executive Director. “With a greater awareness of its impact, we can more effectively address the poverty issues in our community.”
Using a simulation kit, participants will role-play the lives of low-income families. Some are TANF recipients, some are disabled, and others are senior citizens on Social Security. They will be faced with the stressful task of providing for basic necessities and shelter on a limited budget during the course of four 15-minute “weeks.” They will interact with human service agencies, grocers, pawnbrokers, bill collectors, job interviewers, police officers and others.
In 2008, more than one in ten Allen County residents were living below the Federal Poverty level of $21,200 for a family of four.
Additional statistics indicate the realities of poverty in our area:
- In Allen County, 15.3 percent of families with children under of the age of five earned an income less than the federal poverty guidelines (FPG). The poverty rate for female headed-households jumped to 25.6 percent.
- Fifteen percent of Allen County’s children live in families earning an income at or below the FPG.
- In Allen County, 41 percent of renters pay 30 percent or more of their monthly income in rent.
The public is invited to participate in the simulation. For more information or to secure a spot, please contact Development Coordinator Lauren Caggiano, (260) 760-8924 by May 13.
CANI helps communities, families, and individuals remove the causes and conditions of poverty. For more information about CANI and the services provided, see www.canihelp.org.
The Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network (INRN) is a regionally based service organization that provides affordable, accessible, high quality public and private workshops, board retreats, facilitation and consultant referrals.