A couple of days ago, I participated in a Poverty Simulation on the Ball State Campus that was hosted by TEAMwork for Quality Living. What an amazing experience! I cannot recommend it highly enough.
When you arrive at the poverty simulation, you’ll be assigned a new identity for about the next 2 hours, and you’ll work together with the members of your family to try to meet all the challenges that come your way throughout the (simulated) month. All the families have to figure out how to arrange for transportation, buy food, and pay bills; depending on your specifics, you may have to deal with issues at work, health problems, legal trouble, and people in the community who *ahem* are not very kind.
No matter what your situation is in real life, I think this is an excellent way to learn about what other people go through, and to foster empathy for a wide range of folks. The post-simulation reflective discussion can be a real eye-opener!
Poverty simulations are offered regularly (TQL has done 80+ over the years), so check out their website to sign up for the next one!