CANI to host Poverty Simulation

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News 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 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. on May 19 at the Grand Wayne Center, 120 W. Jefferson Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN.

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.

The public is invited to participate in this free simulation event, but pre-registration is required and space is limited. For more information or to secure a spot, please contact Public Education & Outreach Coordinator Lauren Caggiano at CANI, (260) 399-4109 or sign-up online at www.canihelp.org.

“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.”

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 2009, 14.6 percent of Allen County’s population was living in poverty, up from 11.4 percent in 2006.

Additional statistics indicate the realities of poverty in our area:

[list type=”black”]
[li]As of June 2010, 1807 children were on the CANI Child Care Assistance waiting list; this compares to 462 children on the list at the same time in 2009.[/li]
[li]13.8 percent of Allen County’s population was uninsured in 2007, according to most recent Census data.[/li]
[li]The Northeast Indiana 211 call center, which provides information and referral services to 10 counties in the Fort Wayne area, reported an 11 percent increase in calls from 2009 to 2010.[/li]
[li]In 2009, Allen County tenants who paid 35 percent or more of their income on rent rose to about two in five, a nearly 7-percent increase from 2006.[/li]
[li]In Allen County, 8.2 percent of households were without a vehicle in 2009, up from 5.9 percent in 2006.[/li]
[/list]

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.

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