"Survive a 'Month' in Poverty" is a community leadership skills 3-hour conference, hosted by the Traverse Bay Poverty Reduction Initiative (PRI). This learning opportunity invites a deeper understanding about the daily challenges of living in poverty for more than 23,345 individuals and families throughout Northwest Michigan. Begun in 2004, the Traverse Bay Poverty Reduction Initiative is a grassroots effort to prevent and reduce poverty for our neighbors, friends, and families throughout Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties. Traverse Bay PRI workshop co-sponsors: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University.
Workshop participants role-play persons in poverty in a variety of circumstances and situations: Some are newly unemployed, some have just experienced desertion of the breadwinner, others receive temporary assistance for needy families and children, and others are older residents challenged by illness and isolation.
During the workshop, you and your “family” will be part of a community that includes a bank, police station, school, grocery store, an employment office, food pantry, human services office, and pawnshop. Your main task is to provide both shelter and basic necessities for your family for a whole “month” (divided into four 15-minute “weeks”). Your fate may change overnight with a luck of the draw card that could bring you unexpected income or an unplanned expense.
At the conclusion of the simulation, you will be invited to share your poverty experiences, reactions and insights in a prevention and solution discussion led by Northwestern Michigan College Social Science instructors Brandon Everest and Diane Emling.
Students Talk About Their Participation in the Traverse Bay PRI Poverty Simulation
Students from Leland High School and Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) joined other local residents at the Traverse Bay Poverty Reduction Initiative's Poverty Simulation hosted by NMC. Watch the video to see what some of the students had to say about their experience.
Poverty Simulations Show What It's Like to Live in Poverty
The "Survive a 'Month' in Poverty" workshop in Traverse City, hosted by the Traverse Bay Poverty Reduction Initiative (PRI), and co-sponsored by Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University North, helped give more than 100 participants a better understanding of what it is like to live in poverty.