UWFK hosted a Poverty Simulation for the Leadership Monroe County Class XXVI on Saturday, February 3.
Each participant was placed in a ‘household’ with specific parameters for their income, expenses, access to transportation, and housing situation. Then, they walked through 4 ‘weeks’ of meeting their family’s needs within those parameters. Some participants ended up in jail, some lost their homes, and some participated in ‘illegal activities’ to help meet their family’s needs.
Afterward, the group discussed what issues arose for their household and what they, as fellow community members and leaders, learned about life for those in our community living in or near poverty daily. The simulation gave these community leaders an opportunity to personally 'experience' what the 48% of families in Monroe County who are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained but Employed) live with every day.
This simulation was not a game, but rather a chance to walk a mile in someone else's shoes. We hope it made an impact on the hearts and minds of these leaders, enouraging them to drive change in our community.
UWFK CEO Leah Stockton and Advisory Board Member Mindy McKenzie give instructions to some of the 'households', one of who is 'homeless', on the floor.