Thrive! Union hosts poverty simulation Nov. 9 in Monroe

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Thrive! Union hosts poverty simulation Nov. 9 in Monroe

Could you survive one month living in poverty?

Find out Thursday, Nov. 9 from 10am – 1pm at the Union County Human Services Agency in Monroe when
Thrive! Union presents a Community Action Poverty Simulation. The simulation was developed by Missouri
Community Action Network as an experience to break down stereotypes by allowing participants to step into
the real life situations of others.

“Getting a feel and basic understanding of what someone faces when they live in the low resource environment
of poverty is a good starting point for creating a community where we all can thrive,” said Thrive! Union
President Keith Adams. “Thrive’s goal is to bring everyone to the table to address the unacceptable rates of
upward mobility for our residents experiencing generational poverty.”

This is a FREE event open to the public with a focus on community organizers, influencers, leaders and public
and private policy makers. Lunch is included. Register online at ThriveUnionnc/poverty. Call Keith Adams at
704-883-8042 with any questions.

Participants will spend a simulated month in the poverty experienced by our community’s individuals and
families. This interactive event promotes poverty awareness, increases understanding and inspires local change
to rethink poverty. The poverty simulation is sponsored by Common Heart, the Community Shelter of Union
County and Turner Learning & Leadership.

Community member Brian Cross said he’d sum up his previous simulated poverty experience with just one
word: stressful. During the simulation Cross took on the role of a 9-year-old girl in a struggling family.
“Over all my life experiences I’ve never gone through anything like that,” he said. “There’s a lot of weight that
was put on that 9-year-old girl that she was really having to act as an adult to help her family navigate around
and not enjoying her youth. This simulation allows you to sit in their shoes and see what they’re going through
and what they’re stressed about.”

Poverty is often portrayed as a stand alone issue, but this simulation allows individuals to walk a month in the
shoes of someone who is facing poverty and realize how complex and interconnected the issues of poverty
really are.

“Before you automatically dismiss people or think they’re lazy or ungrateful, walk in someone’s shoes and
attend this simulation,” Cross said. “It makes you feel grateful for what you have and hopefully makes you
think about helping people more.”

About Thrive! Union
Thrive! Union NC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit membership organization bringing together individuals across the
economic spectrum and from every sector of our community to work together to bring positive change and
greater upward mobility for the county’s residents.
Founded in 2018, over 30 individuals and organizations meet monthly at the Department of Human Services to
network, educate and collaborate on increasing access to resources and building an environment for stability
and upward mobility for those who live at or near poverty. Our projects have included Bridges Out of Poverty
training, systemic racism panel discussions, resource fair, poverty simulations, and multi-agency COVID
Housing Response team. For more information, visit

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