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.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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

Amanda Lindhout kidnapper sentenced to 15 years in prison

OTTAWA — A Somalian man found guilty in the kidnapping of Amanda… Continue reading

Police suspect fire at mosque in Alberta town was deliberately set

EDSON, Alta. — RCMP in Alberta say they’re investigating an arson at… Continue reading

Indigenous protesters in Washington declare Trans Mountain won’t be built

VANCOUVER — Cedar George-Parker remembers the moment he decided to devote his… Continue reading

In Bill Morneau’s riding, 40 per cent of children live in poverty, report says

OTTAWA — Four in every 10 children residing in Finance Minister Bill… Continue reading

Strong quake near Osaka, Japan, kills 3, knocks over walls

TOKYO — Residents in western Japan were cleaning up debris Monday evening… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Alberta High School Soccer League champs crowned

Lindsay Thurber girls’ team and Notre Dame boys’ team won Saturday at Edgar Park Field in Red Deer

Roll out the barrels: Christo artwork floats on London lake

LONDON — The ducks, geese and hardy cold-water swimmers in London’s Hyde… Continue reading

Just For Laughs production company promotes COO Bruce Hills to president

MONTREAL — The production company behind Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival… Continue reading

Auto parts firm Magna plans electric vehicle joint ventures with Chinese company

AURORA, Ont. — Magna International Inc. says it will form two new… Continue reading

Collection featuring Group of Seven paintings donated to University of Lethbridge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Margaret (Marmie) Perkins Hess spent a lifetime following her… Continue reading

5 dead as SUV chased by Border Patrol crashes in South Texas

BIG WELLS, Texas — At least five people were killed and several… Continue reading

Ramifications of a trade war: an expert look at the numbers for Canada

OTTAWA — A new analysis of escalating trade disputes involving the United… Continue reading

Deliberate spill: study launched to test crude and bitumen impact on lake life

KENORA, Ont. — Researchers were in northwestern Ontario over the weekend spilling… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month