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The HDFS Poverty Simulation


The Human Development and Family Studies Poverty Simulation is a workshop based after the Missouri Community Action Network model that allows participants to experience one month as a family living in poverty, or as a service provider struggling with too few resources to assist these families.  Poverty-Simulation-Brochure.png

The poverty simulation is a profoundly moving experience that exposes its participants to the harsh realities of poverty.  Some examples of groups who have used the poverty simulation include:

  • Public Schools
  • Social Service Providers
  • College Students and Faculty
  • Community Organizations

Generally, simulations are offered to students and professionals who work in the human services or education fields.  The simulation provides an opportunity to learn about some of the challenges families face when they lack adequate resources to meet their daily needs. The Poverty Simulation is also provided to businesses, school districts and local governments as a part of our commitment to raise awareness and serve those living in poverty throughout Michigan.

Watch the Video to Learn More
About the Poverty Simulation


Interested in Hosting a Poverty Simulation?

If you are interested in hosting a poverty simulation please contact Katie Reck, Faculty Leader/Poverty Simulation Coordinator, at 989-774-2760 or

Register for the Poverty Simulation

Please select one of the following to register for the poverty simluation.

Poverty-Simulation-Participant-ButtonB.jpgParticipants for the poverty simulation will be assigned to be a member of a family during the event. Please sign up as a participant if you are attending the event for any class other than the three HDF classes listed in the next paragraph. ANY CMU STUDENT may attend the poverty simulation (especially, HDF 100, HDF 110, HDF 317, HSC 317).

Poverty-Simulation-Facilitator-ButtonB.jpgFacilitators for the poverty simulation will be assigned as agency workers during the event. These roles are typically reserved for students enrolled in HDF 319 and HDF 411.

If you have any questions, please contact:
Katie Reck, Faculty Leader/Poverty Simulation Coordinator
989-774-2760 or

Learn More

For more information, or to schedule a poverty simulation for your organization, please contact:​

Dr. Katie Reck
Faculty Leader, Poverty Simulation
Human Development & Family Studies
Central Michigan University
195 Ojibway Ct.
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859
 ​989-774-2760 ​​

Upcoming Poverty Simulations

Due to COVID-19, NO Poverty Simulations will be scheduled until further notice.

College of Education and Human Services | Central Michigan University | | 195 Ojibway Ct | EHS 426 | Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859 | (989) 774-3079