grocery-produceThe following comes from an October 6 Inland Catholic Byte article:

SAN BERNARDINO — Catholic Charities San Bernardino-Riverside is hosting a Poverty Simulation at the Diocesan Pastoral Center on Friday, November 18. The Poverty Simulation is designed to help people better understand the challenges, stresses, and compounding factors that contribute to poverty.

During the simulation, participants are assigned a role in a family. The task for each family is to find a way to provide food, locate or maintain shelter, and secure other basic necessities for one month. Every week is represented in 15 minute intervals in which family members must meet basic requirements and interact with the community resources that they need. The Poverty Simulation has been described by past participants as “real,” “stressful,” and “life-changing.”

Participants face a variety of difficult, yet common, challenges. The result is a simulated experience of poverty in which participants gain a clear understanding of the day-to-day challenges of low-income families and learn firsthand about the institutional barriers that prevent struggling families from moving beyond poverty.

Catholic Charities hosts the Poverty Simulation with a cross-section of community stakeholders in an effort to create systemic change in government, education, social services, business, health care, law enforcement, faith community, and non-profit organizations. The experience of navigating the challenges that poor families face impacts people who can influence change in our community.