The Community Action Poverty Simulation

Date of Review: December, 2020

The Community Action Poverty Simulation offered by the Missouri Community Action Network is a simulation activity that seeks to raise awareness about the complexities of poverty experienced. This resource offers information about the simulation sessions which last 2 to 4 hours, in addition to how to purchase the simulation materials. During the simulation session, participants assume the identity of one of 26 families who are experiencing poverty. During the experience, participants role-play a month experiencing poverty and try to maintain their basic needs. Following the simulation experience, the participants work through a guided debrief to share their insights on the realities of poverty, and to discuss how communities can address poverty. Running a poverty simulation requires intense resources as well as experienced facilitators making it challenging to organize and run. Personally, I have had select students particiapte in a poverty simulation run by a partner institution. I would also examine the data on unintended consequences that can occur in a highly charged environment– to be aware of limitations and to make plans for mitigation. —Ashti Doobay-Persaud