Poverty Simulation – Daniel Boone Regional Library

Poverty Simulation

“As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest.”                   — Nelson Mandela

Are you interested in learning about the realities of poverty in our community?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate in 2015 was 13.5% or 43.1 million people, which is a decrease of only 1.2% since 2014. Missouri currently has an estimated poverty rate of 15.6% or approximately 943,000 people living in poverty (American Fact Finder). In Columbia, that number is estimated at a shocking 24.4%, meaning that more than 28,000 people in Columbia are living below the poverty line (American Fact Finder).

“In Columbia, nearly 1 in 4 people are living below the poverty line, according to estimations by the U.S. Census Bureau.

As you can see, poverty is a reality for many members of our community. But unless you’ve personally experienced poverty, it can be hard to understand what these numbers represent for those living below the poverty threshold, who are struggling to meet their basic needs.

A poverty simulation is a role-playing activity that gives participants a way to experience the difficulties of poverty for themselves. Participants will take on the role of low-income families, based on real people experiencing poverty in our community, and live out a simulated month trying to meet basic needs.

After the simulation, there will be a discussion of the experience and you will have an opportunity to discuss the experience and what it taught you about living in poverty. The simulation and discussion will be facilitated by Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA).

The poverty simulation will take place at the Missouri United Methodist Church located at 204 S. 6th St. in Columbia on Tuesday, July 18 from 6-9 pm. Light refreshments will be provided.

Please call (573) 443-3161 to register.


This project is funded 100% at $3,500 with federal funds received from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided by the Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Support Division.