BATON ROUGE, La., Feb. 6, 2018 – Aetna Better Health® of Louisiana and Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome today hosted a poverty simulation experience where participants gained a sense of what living a month in poverty is like by assuming the role of a family member encountering poverty and attempting to navigate day-to-day life.
Participants in the simulation included individuals from a variety of local and state government agencies as well as nonprofit organizations. During the simulation, participants were assigned a variety of roles, from single parents trying to care for their children to senior citizens trying to maintain their self-sufficiency on Social Security, and worked through a month in poverty trying to maintain their basic needs.
“Poverty is a reality for many families and individuals living in East Baton Rouge Parish, but the complexities and struggles are difficult to truly understand without experiencing them first-hand,” said Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “The goal of today’s poverty simulation experience is for our participants to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges, and to work collectively toward reframing the issues of poverty.”
“Through the simulation, you gain a greater level of awareness and compassion for community members who live on a very limited budget,” said Rick Born, CEO of Aetna Better Health of Louisiana. “The simulation emphasizes the interconnected social determinants of health that impact individuals, families and communities. We hope this experience creates understanding and inspires change to more effectively address poverty issues and encourage participants to advocate for our community members who need our help and support the most.”
Developed by the Missouri Community Action Network, the Community Action Poverty Simulation promotes a greater understanding of poverty through live-action simulation.
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