The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office aimed to confront poverty with an interactive experience on Friday.
Participants took part in a simulation to experience poverty. They had to find a way to manage daily challenges like taking their kids to school, all the while struggling to make ends meet.
Sheriff Todd Baxter says the idea is to build awareness and compassion.
“We’re also working today on the science of poverty, what that actually does to a person’s psyche, what it does to the neurons in the brain,” said Baxter. “And if we have a better understanding of that, maybe we can help, if you will, people that are stuck in a poverty cycle to get out of the cycle or at least have more empathy and compassion.”
Baxter says the simulation was intended for county jail employees above all, a place he says has the highest concentration of impoverished people.