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Locals learn about poverty
Event teaches by role-play
Poverty Sim pic
From left, Phil Cooper of Forsyth County, Anna Byrd, Elizabeth Mauldin and Jennifer Herrera, all of Dawson County, participate in a poverty simulation Jan. 28 at Veterans Memorial Park gym. - photo by Frank Reddy Dawson Community News

Dawson County residents wanted to see how some families live.


They showed up last week for a role-playing event put on by University of Georgia experts, which demonstrated what some low-income families face day-to-day.


The second annual presentation of “Welcome to the State of Poverty,” which took place Jan. 28 at the Veterans Memorial Park gym, went well according to Nancy Stites, coordinator for Dawson County Family Connection.


The non-profit agency co-sponsored the event, which was held in Dawson County for the second straight year.


“I’m happy with what the UGA staff does here,” Stites said. “They do a good job with really getting you involved in the event.”


Dawson County resident Elizabeth Mauldin had no trouble getting involved. She attended the gathering because “it seemed like a fascinating idea, like something I might be able to learn from.”


Fellow local Jennifer Herrera felt she could benefit from the learning experience as well.


“It’s a chance to learn more about situations that some families face,” Herrera said.


Groups who participate in the poverty simulation play the role of separate families with low incomes. Each are given “15-minute weeks” to decide how to feed and provide housing for their families.


Family Connection asked the UGA College of Consumer Sciences Extension staff to come back after the positive response from last year’s event, Stites said.


For more information about Dawson County Family Connection, call (706) 265-1981.