Texarkana Homeless Coalition to host poverty simulator at the Texarkana Recreation Center


The Texarkana Homeless Coalition will host a poverty simulator at the Texarkana Recreation Center located at 1 Legion Drive Texarkana, AR on Thursday, May 11th, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Join community members in an experimental learning model designed to simulate common, everyday experiences among people living in poverty. This simulation will also showcase community resources for people with low incomes in Miller and Bowie Counties. This unique tool educates everyone, from policymakers to community leaders, about the day-to-day realities of life with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Census, in 2021, over 15,000 Bowie County residents and over 8,000 Miller County residents live with an income below the poverty level; that’s almost 20% of the county’s population. Many continue to struggle with bill payments and unforeseen tragedies, all while dealing with growing inflation and increasingly tight budgets. However, for others the experience of poverty is far removed and are unaware of this situation. The goal of this simulation is to turn misconceptions about life in poverty into understanding and awareness.

Chair of the Texarkana Homeless Coalition Vashil Fernandez and Communities Unlimited Community Facilitator Deanna O’Malley encourage the community and its leaders to join them in this educational exercise.

“The poverty simulation exercise will enable participants to understand poverty from a variety of angles and recognize the potential for change and inspire action within the community,” said Fernandez.

“We believe in building relationships and working with communities,” said O’Malley. “We want to connect those facing poverty with solutions that are sustainable and that goal starts with educating individuals with the resources to help them face these challenges.”

Some scenarios of the simulation exercise include, but are not limited to:

A single parent with limited resources and no transportation must find a way to get to work and get their child to daycare and/or school.
An elderly person must find a way to pay for both utilities and medication.
A young adult must care for siblings while their parents are incarcerated.
An elderly couple must raise their grandchildren and deal with their own health and employment issues.

If you would like to be a volunteer or participant in the simulator, please contact Vashil Fernandez for more information at vashil.fernandez@txkusa.org or (903) 798-3904 or Deanna O’Malley at deanna.omalley@communitiesu.org.

To learn more about the Texarkana Homeless Coalition, please visit www.txkhc.org/.

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