What are Poverty Simulations?

By Sarah Florimonte

Development and Communications Associate

SON Ministries Central Staff

One question we often get from program participants, donors and volunteers is,“What do you do the rest of the year??”. Many times participants and volunteers find themselves heavily involved with one aspect or program of our ministry and are unaware of our other programs, mission fields or services. One mission we LOVE to talk about is COMMUNITY EDUCATION! We strive to identify and address needs in suburban communities. Then, we work to educate the community of these needs: to build empathy and compassion while teaching the value of and employing the Hand-Up Model.

One of the ways we do this is through Poverty Simulations. Poverty Simulations are unique and enlightening experiences that help individuals begin to understand what life is like for families facing poverty. The simulation we use at SON Ministries is based on the

Poverty Simulation Picture

Missouri Community Action Model. Participants are given an “identity” ranging from child to senior citizen and a situation card, explaining their financial, employment and family status. From there, they go through a simulated month, having to navigate what life is like with a shortage of money and resources and an abundance of stress.

We have facilitated these simulations at many school districts across the state, including multiple times in the Hilliard City School District. We have also done them in partnership with churches and civic groups. We strive to do more outreach to work with any group that has a need!

The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio Schools (Magazine) and the Pickerington Times-Sun have all covered SON Ministries’ Poverty Simulations and we are thrilled they are helping get the word out about this part of our Community Education efforts.

What else does SON Ministries do that you may not be aware of?

Stay tuned as we blog more about different aspects of our mission!

SON Ministries: bringing HOPE to children and families facing the unique challenges of suburban poverty





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