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Poverty Simulation with the University of Illinois Extension

The University of Illinois Extension presents a program that looks to join social aspects and the economy, to give participants an opportunity to understand the challenges of living with limited resources and an abundance of stress. It’s called a Poverty Simulation, which gives a breakdown of current stereotypes by taking participants through real-life situations.

Valerie Belusko, a Community and Economic Development Coordinator for the University of Illinois Extension, says this program can put many realistic life aspects in perspective.


The definition of poverty given by the United States Government in 1969 is, “determining the amount of money needed to buy the lowest cost nutritionally adequate diet identified by the USDA and multiplying it by three.” Belusko says this definition is outdated and has not advanced with society and growing costs of living.


Belusko refers to a common example that could be used during a poverty simulation that could send a citizen into a financial spiral, something as simple as popping a tire.


For services offered by the University of Illinois Extension, visit their website at, extension.illinois.edu/cjmm, or call 217-287-7246.

Valerie Belusko appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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