Glimpse at struggles of poverty

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Community members experienced life below the poverty line on Tuesday night during an event held by the Troy University Office of Civic Engagement.

The Office of Civic Engagement partnered with Alabama Possible to create an exercise that simulates life in poverty.

Elizabeth Lincoln, a graduate assistant at the Office of Civic Engagement, explained how the event is set up.

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“We have volunteers from Troy University enact different organizations and businesses hat you would deal with on a daily basis in the community,” Lincoln said. Then we have people in the community volunteering to take on different roles like a family with two kids or a family with five kids.”

The participants in the simulation had tables and chairs set up as “family houses” for them to end and begin their days while the volunteers representing banks and businesses were on the perimeter of the room for families to go to.

Each family had different scenarios of how much money they had for the week.

Lincoln has never gone through the simulation as one of the poor families, but has volunteered to represent a bank teller at a poverty simulation in Montgomery.

“Just witnessing everyone struggling and then getting so excited when a check came in because they could finally buy groceries is really eye-opening,” Lincoln said. “And this is just roleplaying. I’m sure it was a huge awakening for people who don’t have to live with limited means.”