There are more than 700 homeless children in Rapid City. For people who have never experienced poverty, it's hard to imagine what it would be like.
A poverty simulation helps give people a sense of the daily struggles. People participating in a poverty simulation in Rapid City on Tuesday were given a new identity for the program. They were assigned to a family facing various struggles.
They had to live a full month in the life of a family in poverty. They were given a description of their problems, how much money they have, and what they have to accomplish in that month. A month was acted out in four 15 minute weeks.
They had to go around and take care of their family the best they could. There were stores, banks, school, and even jail.
They had to use a travel pass to get from one place to another. Participants and those involved with the program say there are a lot of misconceptions about people in poverty and this simulation makes people realize that.
"This really raises the awareness that we really need to be able to get more people around the table for solutions," said Barbara Garcia, Manager of Community Development and Code Enforcement in Rapid City and the organizer of the poverty simulation.
"I can't even imagine what that would feel like but this gives us a sense of that. It gives us a sense of what families are dealing with every single day," said Renee Parker, a participant in the poverty simulation.
There will be another poverty simulation on Thursday at 9 am at the Club for Boys in Rapid City