Ezgi Sariolglu (left) and Dayna Facca were two of the 70-plus people participating in Wednesday’s Poverty Simulation at the Radisson Hotel in Red Deer. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

More than 70 in Red Deer experience poverty through simulation

More than 70 people experienced the daily troubles of families struggling to make ends.

The United Way of Central Alberta and the Central Alberta Poverty Reduction Alliance (CAPRA) hosted a Poverty Simulation at the Radisson Hotel Wednesday.

Participants were given a role in different low-income families and had to live through a month in 15-minute intervals.

READ MORE: Simulation has Central Albertans experience poverty

Dayna Facca, 27, was playing the role of a seven-year-old boy with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

“It was interesting going through the motions and seeing your parents not having the ability to support you in the way they need to because they’re so busy trying to keep the lights on,” said Facca.

Not getting attention from her “parents” made it hard to behave as the seven-year-old boy, Facca added.

“I didn’t get access to medication I needed and I went hungry for a few weeks. I can’t imagine how a little boy would’ve struggled with this stuff and where his head would be,” she said.

“It was absolutely crazy to experience it. I’m very grateful for this opportunity,” Facca added.

Ezgi Sarioglu, 28, played the role of an 85-year-old man who was living alone.

“It was definitely a unique experience. I’ll never be able to experience being an 85-year-old man,” said Sarioglu.

“It was very isolating and lonely,” she said. “I had more time than all the families who were running around and doing things all together, but I didn’t know what to do with all that time.”

Sarioglu said she found herself spending money just to go places to socialize people.

“There was a lot to navigate and it felt like there was little help. There wasn’t much support in the community and socializing options for a senior living alone,” she said.

After missing out on grocery shopping, she had to so a week without food, she added.

“I felt grumpy at times, so I can understand why some older people feel that way – it can be lonely,” she said.

Diana Souveny, City of Red Deer social planning community facilitator, said the simulation went well.

“We want people to feel what it’s like to live in poverty or low-income,” said Souveny. “It’s very impactful for the participants and the volunteers.”

The volunteers at the simulation played the roles of various agencies providing services to the families.

“The word I hear most often from participants is ‘stress,’” said Souveny. “We try to make it realistic for them so they can actually feel the anxiety over it.”

CAPRA is asking the public to fill out a poverty awareness survey at http://bit.ly/2Bkjdab.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Lori Jack, United Way Central Alberta community impact development officer, speaks at Wednesday’s Poverty Simulation at the Radisson Hotel in Red Deer. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Just Posted

Improving life for people with Alzheimer’s and their families is a priority for Raitt

The federal Conservatives deputy leader is dealing with the disease in her own home

PHOTO: International Peace Day

Visitors broke bread, made crafts and trading cards at a gathering marking… Continue reading

Snowfall warning issued for Central Alberta

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for Central Alberta Friday afternoon. Warning… Continue reading

POLL: Most Red Deerians don’t want cell phones in the classroom

Sixty-six per cent of Advocate readers who responded to an on-line poll… Continue reading

Grassroots movement to clean up Red Deer is gaining momentum

Homeless people need more attention than shopping carts, says former councillor Cindy Jefferies

Updated: Grey Cup in Red Deer to raise funds for military families

Money raised will go to the Military Family Resource Centre and be used locally

Dustin Byfuglien scores in overtime, Jets beat Flames 4-3 in pre-season

WINNIPEG — Bryan Little tied the game late in the third and… Continue reading

Mistrial denied in Calgary murder trial over jury’s visit to hotel Denny’s

CALGARY — A Calgary judge has denied a request for a mistrial… Continue reading

Former Canadian astronaut says space shuttle is a vehicle of hope

OTTAWA — Sending messages of hope from space is a big part… Continue reading

Canada requests trade panel on uncoated groundwood paper ruling by U.S.

OTTAWA — Canada has requested a NAFTA trade panel review a U.S.… Continue reading

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

SURREY, B.C. — Three First Nations in British Columbia gathered today to… Continue reading

Tail with a happy ending: Dog rescued from fighting ring, ready for police work

Dallas’s ear-to-ear grin and bright brown eyes seem to sparkle with joy.… Continue reading

Liberal leader doubles down on notion that $75 weekly grocery bill is possible

MONTREAL — One day after being ridiculed for saying it was possible… Continue reading

Jury resumes deliberating man’s guilt in Calgary mother of four’s death

CALGARY — Jurors are continuing to deliberate the guilt of a man… Continue reading

Most Read