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Poverty Simulation

By Mirna Chamorro

April 28, 2015

April 27, 2015


SANFORD - The Florida Department of Health in Seminole County in collaboration with Seminole County UF IFAS Extension Office are hosting a Poverty Simulation. Participants of this simulation will experience the virtual realities of poverty faced by low-income people.

Community and business leaders have been to this free simulation will take place on Tuesday, April 28 from 1- 5pm at the Department of Health in Seminole located at 400 West Airport Blvd. in Sanford.

The Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) was designed to help people better understand the realities of poverty. Participants included staff members of various human service agencies and local civic and community leaders.

“This program helps people understand the complexities and frustrations of living in poverty day to day,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County. “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 disabled, and others senior citizens on Social Security. They will have the stressful task of providing for basic necessities and shelter on a limited budget during the course of four 15-minute “weeks.” They interact with human service agencies, grocers, pawnbrokers, bill collectors, job interviewers, police officers and others.

More than 17% of people in the state of Florida are living below federal poverty level, according to the 2013 census. The simulation was designed to sensitize those who frequently deal with low-income families as well as to create a broader awareness of poverty among policymakers, community leaders and others.

The Missouri Association for Community Action is a network of community action agencies throughout the state that provide a variety of services to low-income individuals and families. Please visit their website at to find out more about the poverty simulation.

For more information about the poverty simulation, please contact Seminole County Extension Office at 407-665-5556.