HERRIN (WSIL) -- A workshop to simulate what it's like to budget for those in poverty was held at the Herrin Civic Center.
The Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) involves role-playing the lives of single parents, people with disabilities and senior citizens on Social Security.
Regional Superintendent of Schools Lorie LeQuatte was there for the simulation.
She said, "I hope that after going through this simulation, you have a little more patience, a little compassion, and maybe do some research in order to help direct families when they do reach out to us."
The task of each team is to provide their necessities for four weeks while balancing stress.
Participants each play a part in the family group. As a whole, the family interacts with community resources to combat losing their homes or other unfortunate scenarios.
"It was hard for me in the simulation because as a 14-year-old I can't really do anything to help my family. I can't get a job, and I can't go to school now, so I'm just kind of stuck at home, waiting," said Herrin High School teacher Andrea Felty.
Coordinators hope this simulation provides awareness for local leaders and policymakers to open the conversation and bring forth change in their communities.
"Things that you really don't think about it until you experience it first hand and it's just--the system is just not fair," said Herrin High School teacher Lori Mohr.
The National Center for Children in Poverty says 50% of Illinois children in low-income families have at least one parent who is employed full-time year-round.