AAUW Vero Beach's Poverty Simulation was an amazing real-life example of the hardships endured daily by hardworking people trying to make ends meet. Have you heard the term ALICE families? It stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. In our county 11% of our neighbors live in poverty and another 44% are ALICE households. Their struggles to make ends meet every month were ours as we took on the roles of these families. Thanks to #unitedagainstpoverty for letting us use their UP Center. #unitedwayindianrivercounty #iamonecaringadult
Here are some comments from participants:
"I was 21-year-old Pablo Perez. My parents were divorced, my dad in jail. I had (and lost) a job and had three younger siblings to take care of. I scrambled to buy the groceries and pay the bills, I forgot to pick up my 3-year-old sister from daycare and, when I got home, found an officer who had brought her home. I stole a transportation ticket because they were so hard to get. I felt confused and overwhelmed. Thankfully my 13-year-old siblings were helpful kids and got babysitting jobs on their own. But it didn’t work for us as a family. At the end of the simulation, we were waiting in line at the Social Service Agency, filling out paperwork to get help."
"One thing we learned was that while we were poor, we did things that seem unethical and unproductive to our affluent selves. We experienced stress and desperation, and we were happy when the simulation ended. As our facilitator, Crystal Morris, said, “We get to go home to our more comfortable lives. People in poverty don’t.”