HEXS leads poverty simulation
HEXS professor, Dr. Doris Cancel-Tirado, led this year’s Poverty Simulation during the MLK Celebration Week. The Poverty Simulation is an interactive immersion experience designed to help participants begin to understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family trying to survive from month to month. “The experience always has a profound impact on students and participants overall,” says Dr. Cancel-Tirado.
In the simulation, participants assume the roles of families facing poverty. Some families are newly unemployed, some are recently deserted by the “breadwinner,” some are homeless, and others senior citizens receiving disability or retirement or grandparents raising their grandchildren.
The simulation is conducted in a large room with the “families” seated in groups in the center of the room. Around the perimeter are tables staffed with student and faculty volunteers representing different community services, including a bank, employer, pawn broker, grocery store, social service agency, payday and title loan facility, mortgage company, school, health center, and child care center. The task of the “families” is to provide for basic necessities and shelter during the course of four 15-minute “weeks.”