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EMAA to hold ‘Poverty Simulation’

A Poverty Simulation will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Aug. 14 at Farmington First Baptist Church, 210 A St., in Farmington.

The event is being facilitated by East Missouri Action Agency, Inc. through funds received from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as provided by the Missouri Department of Social Services.

“The Poverty Simulation is a role-playing experience that offers the opportunity for people to learn more about the realities of living in conditions of poverty,” said Rob Baker, EMAA Community Services coordinator. “We want to emphasize that this is a simulation, not a game.”

According to Baker, participants enter the simulation with a new identity and family profile. The task of the “families” is to provide for basic necessities and shelter during the course of four of four 15-minute weeks.

“Participants experience poverty compressed into the real time of the simulation,” Baker said. “In the debriefing held afterwards they will share insights of extraordinary vividness and intensity.”

In 2013, there were 45.3 million people living in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For three consecutive years ending in that year the poverty level remained relatively unchanged. The 2013 poverty rate was 2.0 percentage points higher than in 2007, the year prior to the most recent recession.

Baker said it’s important that anyone interested in participating in the simulation contact him as soon as possible so EMAA can reserve a spot for them.

“We’ve got a relatively limited number of spaces for those wanting to be a part of this role-playing exercise,” he said. “We want as many people in the community to participate as possible.”

To RSVP or receive further information about the simulation, contact Baker at 431-5191, ext. 1183.

“Participants experience poverty compressed into the real time of the simulation.” — Rob Baker, EMAA

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or

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