Community Action invites residents, officials for poverty simulation

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 September 2014 at 12:00 am

ALBION – People wondering what it’s like to live in poverty, and face the fears and frustrations for parents struggling to make ends meet, are invited to a poverty simulation next Friday.

Community Action of Orleans & Genesee will host the event on Oct. 3 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Batavia First United Methodist Church. The agency is hosting the event for the first time to try to raise awareness for poverty issues, said Ed Fancher, Community Action director.

At the simulation participants will assume the role of a low-income family member living on a limited budget. The experience is divided into four 15-minute sessions, each of which represents one week in which participants must provide for their family and maintain their home.

In the two rural counties alone, there are about 12,700 people (including over 4,000 children) who live below the poverty line, Fancher said.

“We think this will be a good way to have a conversation about poverty,” Fancher said about the simulation.

Local poverty is most concentrated in the villages of Albion and Medina, and the city of Batavia, Fancher said.

About 50 people have already signed up for the poverty simulation. Fancher welcomes more participation, including from elected officials. People interested in the simulation, should call 589-5605 and ask for Fancher or Nathan Varland, director of Housing and Support Services for the agency.

Community Agency will follow the simulation with a poverty awareness dinner at Batavia Downs on Oct. 3.