Poverty simulation provides first-hand awareness

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – Dozens of York officials went through a poverty simulation at Santander Stadium Thursday morning. It forced them to open their eyes to a real problem that many nationwide deal with each and every day.

The simulation was no game. It proved to be challenging for the participants.

“There’s just no hope. Every time we get somewhere we get knocked back a couple more notches,” simulation participant Stephanie Voight said.

“It’s incredibly stressful because you have limited amount of time and rules as you go along, so I am really struggling to get things together,” York council member David Saterlee said.

Everyone who participated willingly signed up for the exercise.

“We have some who have their eyes opened, some who are stressed out, some people even walk out because it was too much for them,” organizer and York College professor Jennifer Engler said.

Groups were formed and they were each given challenging scenarios to deal with.

“No matter how hard you try to get ahead, there were obstacles in the way,” Deb Goolding-Kime said.

Over a simulated three-week period, groups had to pay their bills, keep an eye on the kids, get to work on time and keep tabs on their budget to afford food.

“It’s hard to put yourself in those shoes, I hope and pray this is the closest I get to it, but it really does give you a different perspective,” said Voight.

A new vantage point among many other things was provided.

“Just getting in the car every morning and driving to work, I take that for granted. Putting gas in the car, I take that for granted,” Voight said.

Walking in someone else’s shoes will do that to a person.

“There is a lot of need everywhere and I think people who don’t experience it do not realize it,” Engler said.

Realizing now, the conversation to help the less fortunate needs to change.

“Having people in powerful positions here to experience this is significant. I think the conversation may change in the future,” Saterlee said.

This is the 12th year York College has done the poverty simulation.


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