What’s it like to live in poverty?

That’s a question a local agency wants you to learn.

The Leavenworth County Child Abuse Prevention Council is hosting a poverty simulation in downtown Leavenworth.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon March 29 in the Riverfront Community Center gymnasium, 123 S. Esplanade St.

The agency has put a call out for volunteers from the community to participate.

The simulation aims to help community members understand the everyday realities faced by people whose income falls below the poverty line.

Participants will assume the roles of members of low-income families from single parents trying to care for their children to senior citizens trying to maintain their independence on Social Security.

Participants will assume roles as a child, parent or senior citizen and live four 15-minute “weeks” to gain a deeper understanding of the trials of living in poverty.

The agency hopes the exercise will enlighten participants on ways they can more effectively advocate for people living in poverty.

The LCCAPC is comprised of approximately 40 representatives of a wide variety of agencies to include law enforcement, child welfare, foster care and more.

John Bradford, a member of the LCCAPC, will be one of the role players in this first-time event. He said the exercise will make people more aware of the struggles of living in poverty.

The free event is being held in partnership with NEK-CAP, an acronym for the Northeast Kansas Community Action Program.

“NEK-CAP brought the idea to us,” Bradford said. “They wanted to see if we were interested and we said yes. We think it will be a good way to raise awareness.”

Bradford said the event capacity is about 80 participants. 

Those interested in participating must RSVP by calling Maureen Hernandez at 913-705-0725 or send email to LvCAPC@gmail.com

The agency also is looking for volunteers to serve as “community workers” during the poverty simulation.

Those volunteers will receive instructions and training from 9-9:45 a.m. on the day of the event.