Simulation program offers a glimpse of poverty’s challenges
September 13, 2017
Bradley Lipinski, an assistant professor of philosophy at Cuyahoga Community College, is a trained facilitator for a unique program. It’s a program allowing participants to experience the ways in which poverty touches every aspect of an individual’s life.
Called “Community Action Poverty Simulation,” or CAPS, the three-hour program exposes participants to a variety of simulated poverty scenarios. A participant might portray a single parent with limited resources, an elderly person with medication expenses, an older sibling who must care for younger siblings due to the absence of parents, and others.
Each simulated individual or family must meet specific goals throughout the session, such as applying for welfare assistance, seeking employment and budgeting to pay utility bills and other necessary expenses.
Lipinski, who recently penned a guest column on CAPS for Cleveland.com, believes it is especially important for those in the Cleveland area to understand the challenges faced by those living in poverty. One in three Clevelanders lives in poverty.
“The experience forces participants to rethink the challenges that low-income individuals face every day,” Lipinski wrote. “It provides a greater understanding of poverty and the state of confusion, defeat, frustration, exhaustion and despair the poor often experience.”