Poverty simulation addresses the challenges of living with limited resources and an abundance of stress. The role-play is a powerful way to convey real world obstacles to securing food and shelter, while maintaining the stability of a family and various systems that must be navigated in order to survive.
The program accommodates 40 to 88 participants, who will experience a month in poverty as four, 15-minute weeks. During that time, they must meet two objectives: (1) provide for the necessities of their family, and (2) maintain their shelter. They will interact with community institutions and resource providers in order to do this. The entire simulation takes 3-4 hours and works well as a morning or afternoon program
Why the Poverty Simulation is Effective
In general, people retain:
- 20% of what they hear
- 30% of what they see/read
- 50% of what they hear/see/read
- 70% of what they hear/see/read/discuss
- 90% of what they hear/see/read/discuss/do – a simulation
Expected Outcomes of the poverty simulation:
- Increased understanding of the stereotypes about people with low income
- Improved customer service for clients with low income
- Increased connections and coordination with other staff in other agencies and partner organizations to lessen bureaucratic obstacles for clients
- Increased awareness about institutional obstacles for people with low income.
- Improved ethics when making financial decisions in business.
- Improved ethics when tasked with promoting products to people with low income (such as predatory financial services).