Poverty Simulation

How would you respond living month to month in a low-income family – trying to provide for your very basic necessities and shelter?

A Poverty Simulation is an exercise to raise awareness among community members of the challenges faced by low income individuals and families. THIS IS A SIMULATION – NOT A GAME. In the simulation, that lasts about two hours, 45-80 participants assume the roles of up to 26 different families facing poverty. The task of the “families” is to provide for the basic necessities and shelter during the course of four 15- minute “weeks.” The simulation is conducted in a large room with the “families” seated in groups in the center. Around the perimeter are tables representing community resources and services for the families i.e. a Bank, Super Center, Employer, Utility Company, Pawn Broker, Inter-Faith Agency, and more.


Volunteers are recruited to act as “service providers”
during the Poverty Simulation experience.


Comments from Poverty Simulation held at Cabarrus College of Health Science on September 18, 2019:

The most memorable part was how realistic the whole experience was.

I will appreciate the small things and help others out when I can.  I will donate more and listen more to the people when they need time for someone to listen.

Always get a receipt!

The stress put on families effected by poverty is constant.

Be more thankful for what I have and appreciate more of what my parents do.


For more information about the Poverty Simulation or Volunteering, contact Joyce or Lorie.

Joyce Berry-Biles, Poverty Simulation Coordinator

Lorie Williams, Volunteer Coordinator

704.490.4245  |