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      Volunteers simulate a life of poverty

      After news that Albany is the fourth poorest city in the nation, some students at LaGrange College decided they wanted poverty to be the focus of a class project.

      They reached out to Strive 2 Thrive for a poverty workshop, suddenly whisking middle class citizens into poverty.

      They are actually going through a mock simulation which we call the cost of poverty experience. This allows them to walk in the life of someone in poverty, said Ausha Jackson of Strive 2 Thrive.

      The class asks to participants to make teams of mock families and try to manage one month as if they were in poverty.

      We hope that people will have a better understanding of the cycle of poverty. Have a better understanding of how we can help those that are in poverty that we are giving them a hand up and not a hand out, said Lagrange student Shelia Jones.

      They have money but many of them don't have the money to make ends meet. So they are having to work out their problem solving skills as well as having to manage the money that they have, said Jackson.

      The families then have to navigate through, landlords, healthcare and schools and even jail.

      It's real life with the way that some of different places you go to, the landlord the community based, some of them do have attitudes in real life and you experience that here, said Nakeavis Hunter, an Albany State student who volunteered for the simulation. It's way better than what I expected. I was thinking to come sit down and hear a boring lecture but it was actually hands on.