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Brightpoint Poverty Simulation: Eye-Opening Experience for Community Leaders

On Thursday, October 20th from 4:30 – 7:00 pm, Brightpoint hosted a Poverty Simulation at the offices of Frontier Communications on Jefferson Boulevard in Fort Wayne. The Simulation was open to guests invited by the Brightpoint board of directors. Nearly forty individuals participated, including leaders from local businesses and nonprofits, as well as elected officials Senator Jim Banks and Fort Wayne City Councilman Russ Jehl.

A Poverty Simulation involves forty to eighty participants who take on the roles of members of up to twenty-six families, all facing a variety of challenging, but typical, circumstances. Some are homeless, others jobless, and some are suddenly faced with the responsibility of raising grandchildren. In addition, about twenty volunteers act as resource providers and businesses in the simulated community.

The 2016 poverty guideline for a family of four in the United States is $24,300. Over 43 million Americans live in poverty every day. Many more have incomes above the poverty line, but their incomes are still low enough that they can’t afford basic needs like food, decent housing, or quality child care.

A Poverty Simulation can be a profoundly moving experience. It helps people begin to understand what life is like with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress. Brightpoint hosts Poverty Simulations for various groups throughout the year and is available to conduct simulations for employee trainings, board development, or community awareness. For more information, visit mybrightpoint.org/povertysimulation.