Poverty Simulation

Poverty is a reality for many people. Unless you’ve experienced poverty, it’s difficult to truly understand. Five County Association of Governments –  Community Action Partnership offers an interactive immersion experience called the “Poverty Simulation”. It sensitizes participants to the realities of poverty. It is NOT a game, but a simulation.
Quick Facts about the simulation:

The simulation requires at least 40 “family member” roles, who are the ones actually participating in the simulation and 15 “staff roles”, who run the services in the simulation.

a 3,000 square foot room is needed for the simulation

All participants will be assigned roles so it’s really important that anyone who commits to coming is there.

Plan about 3 hours for the simulation

The Poverty Simulation is a great staff meeting option for human service agencies / non-profits

The Poverty Simulation:

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What happens during a simulation?

Your simulated “community” is a large room. You and your neighbors’ “homes” are chairs in a circle, around other “homes”. The services you need during the simulation will also be set up on the perimeter of the large room and include things like bank, school, grocery store, utility office, etc.

Like real life, you will need transportation to work or school. You will need food on the table. You might struggle with a chronic illness. Throughout the month you will face the daily stresses and challenges a person in poverty faces.

Participants assume the identity of a family member (or service person)

Debriefing afterwards to discuss their experience during the simulation

To request a Poverty Simulation event, please complete the survey below:


You should hear back from us in 3 business days to continue the planning process of the simulation. If you do not, please contact capuser@fivecounty.utah.gov 


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