A flier being posted around town offers a grim outlook on the issue — "Can you survive?" it reads.
An event that will simulate povery, open to all teachers and to be hosted in Carrollton by West Georgia RESA, is scheduled for Jan. 23 from 12:30-3 p.m.
The poverty simulation will place up to 70 participants into "families" and challenges them to survive for one month. The month is broken down into four 15-minute "weeks."
"The families must keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, utilities on, make loan payments, keep children in school, and so on," said Connie Hill, the instructor of the program.
Hill said the simulation is used to "sensitize people and communities to obstacles low-income families face trying to survive."
The workshops are usually geared toward people who work with low-income families on a regular basis — social workers, teachers, law enforcement, customer service workers at hospitals and utility companies.
The simulations are known to educate participants on the realities that low-income families and individuals face, combat the myths about people living in poverty and increase awareness and empathy about those with lower incomes.
Some of the "families" will include members who are recently unemployed, recently deserted by the family's "breadwinner," and others are recipients of government assistance. Still others will represent senior citizens receiving Social Security or grandparents raising their grandchildren.
Around the perimeter of the room will be tables representing community resources and services for the families. These services can include a bank, department store, community action agency, employer, utility company, pawn broker, grocer, mortgage company and school.
The workshop hopes to enlighten participants on the barriers that low-income individuals face, the limitations of the social supports and community services literally surrounding the "families," the daily choices many face trying to make it through a month and the characteristics of those living in poverty and the overall challenges they face, to better relate with them.
The poverty simulation will be held at the WPA Center on Cliff Street in Carrollton on Jan. 23.
There is no cost for the program, but the deadline to register is Jan. 17. To register or learn more about the program, call the West Georgia RESA office at 770-583-2528. Educators can also register online at www.tinyurl.com/Resa-Poverty.
The event is a collaboration among West Georgia RESA, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and the Georgia Department of Education HIV/AIDS Prevention Program.