Triangle United Way uses simulation to educate on poverty
Posted November 14, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — The United Way of the Greater Triangle is using a simulation to show citizens the struggles that impoverished people face every day.
The nonprofit brought the poverty simulation to WRAL News studios last week. During the hour-long simulation, Capitol Broadcasting Co. employees were divided into family clusters. They were each given a card explaining their circumstances and a small amount of money to carry them through one month.
Information Technology manager Jeff Ritchie took on the challenges of a 34-year-old single mother of two. He struggled to find ways to feed his family, seek out a job and find a place to live.
Community resources, such as social workers, loan officers, grocers and employers, were available for participants.
Ritchie turned to Social Services for help, while other employees started pawning items to pay the bills.
Ritchie said it was a powerful way to experience the obstacles people face when they want to overcome poverty. He said it was especially frustrating not knowing how to seek out help.
The United Way regularly conducts poverty simulations for local organizations.