Alabama is the fourth poorest state in the nation, and in the Heart of Dixie, one in every four children lives at or below the poverty level. 

It's almost impossible for those living outside the poverty limits to know how difficult life can be. Poverty prevents many challenges for families: from food insecurity to inadequate medical care and issues finding and maintaining affordable housing and transportation.

It's been said that you cannot judge a person until you've walked a mile in his or her shoes, and the United Way of West Alabama is providing residents with the unique opportunity to do just that.

A special "Poverty Simulation" will be held by the United Way Thursday, August 25, 2016 from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the McAbee Center (3801 Loop Road, Tuscaloosa). Participants will be able to truly learn what it's like to live in poverty. Here's more from the event's official Facebook page:

The Community Action Poverty Simulation is an interactive experience that helps facilitate understanding of the challenges faced by individuals in our community who are living at or below the poverty level. The simulation increases participants' understanding of hardships and the emotional toll experienced by impoverished members of our society and the work it takes to achieve self-sufficiency.

This FREE educational and professional development experience was created as a way to help business and community leaders; students, faculty, and administrators; faith-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and others understand the realities of poverty. During the simulation, participants role-play the lives of families living at or below the poverty level. Participants will experience typical challenges faced by individuals living in the context of constrained financial circumstances including maintaining employment, caring for children or elderly family members, seeking public assistance, and dealing with transportation issues.


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