Rethink Poverty

Walk a mile in “their” shoes

The ReThink Poverty simulation is 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. It is a simulation – not a game. The object is to sensitize participants to Rethink Poverty.

The Simulation

Participants assume the roles of different families facing poverty. Some are newly unemployed, some are elderly, some are recently deserted by the “breadwinner.”  The task of all the “families” is to provide shelter and the basic necessities during the course of four 15-minute weeks.

Time Frame

The entire simulation process takes three hours and is divided into three segments:

  • Pre-simulation assessment and instructions
  • Simulation
  • Post-simulation assessment and debriefing

Simulation Participants

Simulations can be done for colleges, churches, businesses, or civic groups.  A minimum of 50 participants are required to put on a simulation (maximum of 80).  In the event groups have more than 80 possible participants, more than one simulation is encouraged.  In the event groups have less than 50 participants, joining with another, smaller group is encouraged.

Request a Simulation

If you would like to offer a Rethink Poverty simulation experience for your business, religious group or civic group, contact the Center for Social Ministry office at 515-782-3054 or