Poverty Simulation

United Way’s Poverty Simulation is designed to help participants begin to understand what it is like to live in a low-income family trying to survive from month-to-month.  Poverty Simulation enables participants to look at poverty from a variety of angles and then recognize and discuss the potential for change within the community. Poverty and hunger often lead to increased emotional and financial stress, increased risk of illness, poor school performance in children, poor productivity on the job, and the cycle of struggling can seem unbearable. By experiencing the simulation, participants can better empathize with those in poverty and design and implement programming that is sensitive to the needs of those experiencing poverty.

United Way of Knox County envisions a community where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, income stability and healthy lives. Imagine a world that fosters hope and opportunity for everyone where all children receive a quality education, the cycle of poverty and financial dependence ends, and everyone receives effective health care. Poverty related concerns include - How will I pay for gas to get to work?  Can I afford the prescription I need and have enough money this month to feed my children?  My rent is due and so is my childcare - now what?  During a Poverty Simulation, participants assume the roles of families facing challenging, but typical day-to-day circumstances faced by families and individuals every day in Knox County. Some are homeless, others have recently become unemployed, and some are suddenly faced with the responsibility of raising grandchildren.  The task of each family is to provide for necessities and shelter during the simulation which consists of 15-minute “weeks.”

A simulation leaves a lasting impression on participants and communities.  Past participants of the Poverty Simulation experience claim to have a better understanding of day-to-day survival techniques for individuals in poverty. The program helps dispel common poverty related myths and misconceptions by opening the eyes of participants to some of the every-day challenges. For more information or to inquire about hosting a Poverty Simulation for your group, call United Way at 740.397.5721 or email liveunited@uwayknox.org.

This United Way program creates an increased awareness to stimulate community response to poverty. By donating to United Way of Knox County’s Campaign, you will be supporting Poverty Simulation and the other local programs that United Way implements or invests in. Give, Advocate, Volunteer. LIVE UNITED.