San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
On behalf of the the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO), and Junior League of Austin, we invite you to participate in a Community Action Poverty Simulation
ABOUT THE EVENT:
We invite you to join other local civic leadership candidates and community members to experience the virtual realities of poverty in a unique poverty simulation. The Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) is designed to help people better understand the realities of poverty so they can become advocates for change. ECHO recruited volunteers from various non-profit agencies who regularly serve people struggling to make ends meet to offer an authentic experience. Media sources will be present at the event.
“This program helps people understand the complexities and frustrations of living in poverty day to day,” said Ann Howard, Executive Director of ECHO. “With a greater awareness of the challenges many families face, our local political candidates can more effectively address the poverty issues in our community."
Using a simulation kit, participants will role-play the lives of low-income families. Some receive food stamps and housing vouchers, some have health issues and others are senior citizens living on Social Security. They have the stressful task of providing for basic necessities and shelter on a limited budget during the course of four 15-minute “weeks.” They will interact with human service agencies, grocers, pawnbrokers, bill collectors, job interviewers, police officers and others.
Over half of all the children in Austin and across the state of Texas are living in low income households. 41% of Travis County households are “housing cost burdened” or pay more than 30% of their income on housing costs. In 2011, over 12,000 people sought help related to housing instability. 22% of those under age 65 lack medical insurance. People who are low income are three times likely to not have insurance in Travis County, even though an estimated 68% of the uninsured are employed. (http://www.cancommunitydashboard.org/files/CANCommunityDashboard2012.pdf)
“Providing a forum like this to educate our members and civic leaders about the great concern of poverty in our region is one way the League can be a part of working toward strategic solutions for community issues. League volunteers give their time to many local nonprofit agencies who serve needy populations. The poverty simulation will give them a broader understanding of this complex issue and ultimately make them even better volunteers and leaders. ” said Gregory, President of The Junior League of Austin.
We hope you will join us for this unique opportunity.
Ann and Gregory
When & Where
The Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) envisions a community fiercely committed to ending homelessness. Providing dynamic, proactive leadership that engages policy makers and the community to end homelessness ECHO is dedicated to planning, prioritizing and developing strategies to end homelessness in Austin/Travis County, Texas. ECHO 2014 focus areas include increasing the stock of permanent supportive housing, facilitated a strategic systems change on assessment and referrals amongst providers. For more information about ECHO, call (512) 963-7630 or visit www.austinecho.org.