Could You Survive a Month in Poverty?

What: Poverty Simulation
When: Tuesday, March 29th, 8:00-11:00am (Registration starts at 7:30am)
Where: John Brown University’s Simmons Great Hall

United Way & John Brown University to host a Poverty Simulation

Lowell, ARK. – On March 29th, 2016 United Way of Northwest Arkansas, in collaboration with John Brown University, will ask 100 participants to find out if they could survive a month in poverty by hosting a free poverty simulation. The event will allow participants to take on the role of a family member living in poverty, and will walk them through different decisions they would have to make in that situation.

United Way NWA is committed to providing every child a pathway out of poverty. Part of helping get children out of poverty is helping the entire family succeed. The Federal Government defines poverty as a family of four living on less than $24,250 per year. There are over 40,000 families in our community that live in poverty; that’s one in four families. Even more families are classified as “near-poor”, meaning that they’re more likely to fall into poverty than remain financially stable. In Arkansas, the number of children living in poverty has increased since 2005.

The simulation is a unique interactive experience that will allow participants to begin to understand what life is like for both children and adults with limited resources and opportunities. This experience will bring together social service providers, elected officials, educators, students, and more to learn how poverty affects learning, working, and decision-making. Members of the community will leave with a better knowledge of the harsh realities of living in poverty and a desire to address the problem.

This simulation was done in April 2015 at NorthWest Arkansas Community College and was completely full, with people signed up on a waiting list to attend. For this reason, United Way NWA decided to bring it back in 2016, this time hosting at John Brown University. The simulation allows for exactly 100 participants, so people who are interested in attending should register as soon as possible: Breakfast and lunch will be provided, and the event is free of charge.

This event is sponsored by Bank of America.