The 2-3 hour simulation is divided into four hypothetical “weeks.” Each participant is assigned to one of 26 different families, all of whom face different challenges and situations. Some families are newly employed, others have been recently deserted by the family “bread winner”, and still others are homeless, on welfare, or are senior citizens receiving disability and/or pension.
The task for each “family” is to satisfy their basic needs by interacting with a variety of service providers. Throughout the simulation, family members are responsible for everyday activities such as sending children to school, finding work, paying bills, visiting social services, buying groceries and more.
At the end of the simulation, participants are presented with a review of BC and Canada’s poverty facts before engaging in a group-based debrief in which participants can share and discuss their thoughts and experiences. Participants finish the simulation by completing a short survey.
The simulation can accommodate a minimum of 45 and a maximum of 80 participants.