78
      Tuesday
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      Wednesday
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      Citizens take part in poverty simulation

      More than 75 people from Leadership Amarillo and Canyon and Leadership Perryton participated in a unique poverty simulation at the Wesley Community Center Thursday afternoon.

      The idea behind the poverty simulation is to help people better understand the realities of poverty stricken people and what they go through every day to survive.

      The participants essentially role-played the lives of low-income families.

      They had the stressful task of providing basic necessities and shelter on a limited budget during four 15-minute weeks.

      "There are certain things built in, such as being turned away for services or maybe being evicted from their home or some people may lose their social security cards or identities along the way," said Leesa Wood Calvi. "Lots of times there's a shortage in workers in these departments and people just have to stand in line a long time to get service and if they're in a line for a couple of hours that means they can't be working."

      The simulation also gave all these people the chance to look at poverty from all kinds of angles.

      "There are certain things built in such as being turned away for services or maybe being evicted from their home or some people may lose their social security cards or identities along the way."

      Participants saw what it was like to have no transportation and not enough money to buy a bus ticket.

      "We don't have a car that works, so the boyfriend has to take public transportation to work. There's not enough money with public assistance to meet all of the needs we have, so having to learn to stretch all of that throughout the month," said Simulation Participant, Terry Estes.

      Estes says sometimes we forget how hard it can be for those who have had obstacles thrown at them from all directions.

      "It's hard realizing there are people that have such a difficulty making it through their everyday lives and this is really being able to see what they go through, it just kind of gives you a taste for what it is."

      In addition to the simulation, Leadership Perryton toured the High Plains Food Bank, and Leadership Amarillo and Canyon toured the Guyon Saunders Resource Center.

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