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Simulation Will Offer Chance to Experience Life on the Edge of Poverty University News
For release: March 5, 2010

For press information, contact Carolyn Williams, 901-678-4364

The Tennessee Center for Child Welfare and the University of Memphis will offer a unique opportunity for people to experience the virtual realities of poverty. They will host a Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) March 26 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes Inc., 6896 Hwy. 70.

During the simulation, participants will play the roles of low-income families. Some will be recipients of government assistance for the needy, some will be disabled, and some will be senior citizens on Social Security. During the course of four 15-minute ‘weeks,’ they will face the stressful task of providing for basic necessities and shelter on a limited budget. Participants will interact with human service agencies, grocers, pawnbrokers, bill collectors, potential employers, police officers, and others.

The simulation is designed to help those who frequently deal with low-income families be more sensitive to their plight and to create a broader awareness among policymakers, community leaders, and others of the realities of poverty. CAPS was made available by the Missouri Association for Community Action.

The public is invited to volunteer for, to participate in, or to observe the simulation. Reservations are not required.

For more information, contact Carolyn Williams at 901-678-4364 or

More information about the U of M’s Department of Social Work is available online at

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