Update: Poverty simulation exercise postponed to fall 2019

United Way community wellness manager said the aim was to increase understanding of what poverty looks like in Williams Lake


The poverty simulation project planned for Friday, April has been postponed as there were not enough participants signed up.


Hoping to raise awareness of the realities of living in poverty, two local organization are presenting a poverty simulation workshop on Friday, April 12 in Williams Lake.

Billed as a unique and powerful experience which challenges perceptions, changes perspectives and strengthens understanding and empathy, participants will spend three hours in the shoes of someone who is poor, said Ashlee Hyde, community wellness manager regional supports with United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo.

“United Way in Kamloops did two sessions — in October and November — and they were very well attended. I approached Anne Burrill with Thrive Community Poverty Reduction Project and asked if she thought we should do it in Williams Lake. Anne thought it was a good idea too.”

In Williams Lake the workshop will last for three hours, from 9 a.m. to noon at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake Campus.

Participants will be encouraged to break down stereotypes and step into real life situations.

In the first hour, people will be given their family profile. The second hour will simulate a month of living in poverty. And the final hour will be for debriefing.

“We will encourage people to talk to each other about what they went through and what our community can do moving forward. The intent is to increase the understanding of what poverty looks like in our community.”

Hyde said the aim is to have 80 participants, but it could work with a minimum of 50 to 60.

“At this point we still need 33 more people,” she added, noting many teachers have signed up because April 12 coincides with a professional development day in the district.

The workshop is free, and participants need only bring themselves to attend.

To register go online to or contact Hyde at ashlee@unitedwaytnc.ca or 250-302-1641.

Read more: Free workshop aims to find solutions for poverty


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