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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

How to Register for the Poverty Simulation

If you are interested in participating in an upcoming Poverty Simulation please fill out the registration form below. Please indicate which event you are registering to attend and the type of participant you will be (either a student - participant or student - agency worker/facilitator). If you are an HDF 319 or 411 student, you will be an Agency Worker/Facilitator. Only select ‘Student – Leadership Team’ if you have been invited to do so by a faculty member.

*HDF 319 and 411 students will be registered as Facilitators.

 Participant/Facilitator Sign Up


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

November 8, 2019
Alpena Public Schools
Alpena, MI
10:00 AM

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