The following exercise bridges the gap from misconception and assumptions, to understanding that at any given moment one of us could be susceptible to experiencing poverty in our lifetime. The barriers that families and individuals faced prior to the pandemic – affordable housing, hunger, accessing quality childcare, ensuring their kids were ready for kindergarten and reading at grade level and on the path to a high school diploma and college or career – are even more pronounced due to COVID-19.

For the next few minutes, you’ll experience some of the tough circumstances faced by families in our community. More importantly, this tool will help you identify ways to ACTIVATE: Solutions in support of individuals and families experiencing poverty in our community.

The simulation is based on real scenarios and lived experience from individuals in Maricopa County.


You and your partner have two children — one toddler and one child in school. After an unexpected layoff at your place of employment, you find yourself scrambling to find a new job. Your partner’s monthly earnings are $2400.

But there is some good news. You have three promising job opportunities. The interviews went well, so you have good reason to be optimistic.


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