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Poverty Simulation Event Creates Impactful Awareness

Caro, Michigan - On Tuesday, January 16, in Caro, a unique event was held to increase understanding of the unique challenges faced by those living with low resources. A Poverty Simulation brought together over forty individuals from the community. According to the US Census, 12.3% of people living in Tuscola live in poverty and another 26% are struggling to make enough money to cover the cost of living. "Collaborating with Thumb Community Health Partnership and Thumb Opioid Response Consortium and hosting this event is a step forward in our ongoing efforts to improve family outcomes in the Thumb region. By addressing poverty, we contribute to building a healthier and more supportive community," added Rachael Koepf, Director, Great Start Collaborative Tuscola.

The simulation was designed to spotlight the struggles faced by individuals and families living in poverty. The experience simulated the difficulties of making ends meet and inspired participants to get involved in community solutions. The event included a follow-up discussion which will provide a foundation for future efforts to address poverty.

"A Poverty Simulation is a powerful tool for fostering empathy and understanding within our community. It allows participants to walk in the shoes of those facing economic hardships for a short while. Participants quickly learn the importance of things like transportation, a resource that often is taken for granted by those who have it. The event also showed participants how accessing services can cause stress and frustration," said Kay Balcer, Director of Thumb Community Health Partnership.

The Poverty Simulation is part of larger initiatives to improve health outcomes in the Thumb region of Michigan. By addressing the root causes of health disparities, Partners aim to create a healthier and more resilient community.

As a follow up to the poverty simulation, community training will be offered. Professionals and community members are invited to learn more about strategies to address poverty by attending a Bridges Out of Poverty training. The next training will be held March 7, 2024, in Caro. Additional Poverty Simulations and trainings will be held throughout Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, and Tuscola Counties. Contact Karolyn McEntee for more information: / 810-447-0594 or visit


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