Lori Jack, United Way Central Alberta community impact development officer, said the upcoming Poverty simulation creates a greater sense of empathy for people struggling to make ends meet in the community. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Simulation has Central Albertans experience poverty

An upcoming event will have Central Albertans experience the hardships of families struggling to make ends meet.

The United Way of Central Alberta, Central Alberta Poverty Reduction Alliance and the Radisson will host a Poverty Simulation Feb. 21.

“It creates a greater sense of empathy for those within the community,” said Lori Jack, United Way of Central Alberta community impact development officer.

“With the downturn in the economy these last few years there’s certainly a lot more people who have been living paycheque to paycheque.”

Jack said even though the economy is improving, it’s important to not lose sight of people who are still struggling.

People will be grouped into low-income families at the exercise and live through a month in 15-minute intervals.

The families will focus on tasks such as getting their children to daycare, working every day and getting groceries while maintaining their household.

“Over the month there are stressors that come along with unexpected things that happen and they have to learn to how make it through the month,” said Jack.

“Some succeed at it, some struggle with it and more often than not more than one family has to choose a life a crime because they need money to keep the house,” she said.

There has been about eight Poverty Simulations held in Central Alberta since 2014, including in Red Deer, Wetaskiwin and Hanna. The United Way also hosts simulations in Edmonton and Calgary.

Jack said every simulation she has been involved in has seen at least one family evicted at the end of the month.

“If you don’t make it to work one day because some unforeseen event, you don’t get income that day and therefore may not make rent at the end of the month,” she said.

After the simulation, participants are asked about the experience. Jack said the most common word she hears is “stress.”

“A lot of people don’t understand how stressful it is and what a high level of skill you’re required to have in order to manage life when finances are that tight.

“You need to be a lot more strategic about how you spend every penny and how you choose what you’re doing with your money,” she said.

There will be 20 volunteers at the event and a maximum of 88 participants.

“It looks different every time. It’s always interesting to see how personal dynamics play into how they choose to handle those stressors. It’s a great experience,” said Jack.

To register for the event, call 403-343-3900 or email info@unitedway.ca.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The United Way of Central Alberta is teaming up with the Central Alberta Poverty Reduction Alliance and the Radisson to host the Poverty Simulation Feb. 21. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Just Posted

WATCH: Rappelling down Red Deer’s Stantec Building a thrilling, scary experience

Advocate reporter chronicles his trip down the 13-storey buildling

Red Deer raises $60,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation

27 brave residents rappell down Stantec Building

People hurt in rollover near Red Deer

Occupants of a vehicle that rolled south of Hwy 11A were airlifted… Continue reading

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

WATCH: Gazebo groundbreaking in Waskasoo

Fifty per cent of the $100,000 project is funded by a provincial government grant

Woman killed in collision near Olds

A woman is dead after a collision west of Olds Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

SUMMERLAND, B.C. — Officials in British Columbia’s Okanagan region hope that fire… Continue reading

Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking

BRANSON, Mo. — “Grab the baby!” Those were the last words Tia… Continue reading

HMCS St. John’s to return to Halifax after six-month deployment overseas

HALIFAX — The countdown is on for the homecoming of a Halifax-class… Continue reading

Trump says lawyer taping him may be ‘illegal’

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — The Latest on President Donald Trump and his onetime… Continue reading

Spieth part of 3-way tie for British lead as Woods lurks

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Jordan Spieth has a share of the lead in… Continue reading

WWII hero’s lost Purple Heart returned to his family

NEW YORK — A lost Purple Heart medal has been returned to… Continue reading

California girl, 2, accidentally shot and killed by boy, 4

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and… 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