The "Welcome to the State of Poverty" simulations are offered about once a quarter to members of the public, or coordinated by special request. The events are staffed by volunteers provided by Hands On Savannah of the United Way of the Coastal Empire.
Groups of 35 to 75 people assume the roles of 26 families living in poverty. The goal of each family is to survive for one month or four 15-minute "weeks." Participants must maintain secure shelter, utilities, feed their families, make loan payments, meet living expenses such as transportation, handle unexpected emergencies, access local support services, keep their children in school - all while subsisting at or below the poverty level. The experience is designed to help participants begin to understand what it might be like to live in a low-income family trying to survive from month to month
Simulations last over two hours, including an introductory briefing, the actual exercise, and a discussion period afterward where participants and volunteers share their feelings and what they have learned about the lives of people in poverty. These simulations serve to create a common frame of reference for people and help to dispel some of the myths about people in poverty.
Check the Events listing on this site regularly for the next scheduled simulation.
The simulation is owned by the Missouri Association for Community Action, Jefferson City, MO. If you would like information on how to purchase a simulation kit for your community, visit Missouri's Community Action Web site: http://communityaction.org/Poverty%20Simulation.aspx or contact their office at