ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Dozens of Alaskans got a glimpse of the tough reality low-income families face each day. It's part of the first Anchorage Poverty Project, where participants experience a month of living in poverty through role-playing. Each person is assigned a role in one of five families.
Dave Kuiper is playing a 19-year-old single mom who struggles to make ends meet.
“We got food to last through the end of this week but next week we gotta buy food again because we're out,” he said.
It's a poverty simulation hosted by the Frontier Charter School, and it's designed to increase awareness of the struggles low income families face.
“It’s a real issue for people in Anchorage,” said City Homeless coordinator Darrel Hess. “An average 2 bedroom apt is$1,200 a month. If you look at rise of costs between 1982 and 2009, as an example, medical costs have gone up, utilities went up over 275%, rent 175% all other costs up 195%, but the average money wage in that same period have only gone up 86%. So that is a growing concern for a lot of residents of Anchorage between what it costs to live and what they're bringing home.”