Members of Notre Dame community participate in poverty simulation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 24, 2011
Members of Notre Dame community participate in poverty simulation
On Friday, February 25, the Department of Theology, Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary
Minor, and Bridges out of Poverty hosted a poverty simulation for over 40 people, including
Notre Dame students, faculty, staff, and members of the South Bend community.
“ Quote from PSIM Director”
Poverty simulations give participants a taste of what it might be like to live in a lowincome family. Leaving their real-world identities behind, participants assume new
roles and life situations for around three hours. They must navigate daily tasks that
would be familiar, if not for the limitations of having far fewer resources to draw on.
During four 15-minute "weeks," those assigned adult roles try to maintain their
home, feed their family, send children to school, keep their utilities on, make loan
payments, pay for daily expenses like transportation, handle unexpected
emergencies, and figure out how to access local support and resources. Participants
playing children clamor for attention, go to school, and imagine the trials of poverty
from a child's perspective.
The simulation kit isn't meant to be comprehensive. Salient issues such as health
care, child support enforcement, and the foster care system are not addressed for
fear of cramming too much into session.
Despite the limitations, facilitators say significant attitude changes can occur during
the brief but intense simulations. Many participants report that they gain a better
understanding of the obstacles faced by low-income families.
“Quote from Bridges Director”
For more information contact:
Connie Mick
Co-Director, Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor
574.631.0498 // [email protected]