United Way’s Poverty Simulation is a unique tool that allows community agencies to educate everyone, from policy makers to local community leaders, about the day-to-day realities of life with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress. The Poverty Simulation is a copyrighted tool made available by the Missouri Association for Community Action to organizations that want to promote a greater understanding of poverty.
During a simulation, participants role-play the lives of low-income families, from single parents trying to care for their children to senior citizens trying to maintain their self-sufficiency on Social Security. The task of each family is to provide food, shelter and other basic necessities during the simulation while interacting with various community resources staffed by low-income volunteers.
Although it uses "play" money and other props, fictional scenarios, and time limits, the Poverty Simulation is not a game. It is a simulation tool that enables participants to view poverty from different angles in an experiential setting.
Please contact us if you are interested in hosting a poverty simulation with United Way (note that there is a $500 administration fee per event to cover the maintenance of our poverty simulation kit as well as planning and preparation time).