What is it like to live in poverty?
During this simulation, participants role-play the lives of low-income families, from single parents caring for their children to senior citizens trying to maintain self-sufficiency on their own with Social Security. The task of each family is to provide food, shelter, and other basic necessities while interacting with various community resources such as a pawn shop, Community Action Agency, community health agency, and much more.
The goal of the simulation is to enable participants to view poverty from different angles in an experiential setting. Participants will begin to understand what life is like with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress and become motivated to be part of the solution to ending poverty in the United States.
As one participant noted, “The simulation made me realize that living in poverty is very stressful. I only had to experience this for about two hours and by the second week, I was ready to give up. We had $10, no job, were losing our house, the pawn shop wouldn’t buy anything from us, and social services were taking to too long to get any money. It is hard to think that our 15 minutes is a normal day for someone in poverty."
Students, faculty, and staff can sign-up to either be a participant in the simulation or to help out with the simulation as a volunteer.