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DSU Department of Social Work to Offer Poverty Simulation

CLEVELAND, Miss. — The Poverty Simulation, sponsored by the DSU Department of Social Work, will be offered on September 6 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Jacob Center on the first floor of Ewing Hall. Students, faculty, and staff as well as interested community members may participate after registering for the free event.

Dr. Jana Donohoe, Chair and Associate Professor of Social Work said, “During the simulation participants take on the role of a real-life person who lived in poverty and pretend to be that person for the afternoon. They may be a single homeless person, a child, an adult with a disability, a single parent of several children, etc.”

The Poverty Simulation is an interactive educational experience that gives participants a glimpse of what it is like to live with a very low income from various perspectives using traditional community resources. It is designed to increase participants’ understanding of poverty and empathy for those who are burdened with extreme financial difficulties so that they can better serve people in need and access resources and services to overcome the challenges.

Donahoe said, “They work through the financial situation of their assigned role with their ‘family’ members (other participants playing similar roles) and navigate the available community resources in the room to try to survive a living for a ‘month’ on a very low income. A 4-week month is represented by four 15- minute segments in the simulation.”

DSU faculty, staff, and students may attend the Poverty Simulation on a voluntary basis. No credit or penalties are given for participating.

For more information, contact Dr. Jana Donahoe at or 662-846-4795