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"It stands as an example of what communities can accomplish when they direct the solutions to difficult and perplexing problems that affect our neighbors. Please get involved. You and those around you and those whom you serve will be greatly enriched by the opportunities you choose."

~Mike Einterz, President The Caring Center Board

The Poverty Simulation

Understanding the day-to-day reality of poverty is important for everyone involved in fighting poverty—from policymakers to service providers. The POVERTY SIMULATION is a unique tool that helps people begin to understand what life is like with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress.

During a simulation, participants role-play the lives of low-income families, including single parents, people with disabilities, and senior citizens on Social Security. The task of each family is to provide for food, shelter and other basic necessities during four 15-minute "weeks." Families interact with community resources.

Although it uses "play" money, fictional scenarios and time limits, the Poverty Simulation is not a game. It's a simulation that enables participants to view poverty from different angles and then to discuss the potential for change within local communities. It's designed to sensitize those who frequently deal with low-income families and to create a broader awareness among policymakers and community leaders.

In the Simulation 40-75 participants will assume the roles of 26 different families facing poverty. Some families are newly unemployed, senior citizens receiving Social Security or grandparents raising their grandchildren. The task of the "families" is to provide for the basic necessities and shelter during the course of four, 15-minute weeks.

The simulation is conducted in a large room beginning with the families seated in groups in the center. Around the perimeter are the tables of community resources and services for the families. These services include a bank, a super center, a Community Action Agency, an employer, utility company, pawn broker, grocer, DFS office, payday and title loan facility, a daycare, and a school.

The Simulation is a unique opportunity to help the Community understand what life is like with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress. If your organization is interested in having a poverty simulation, please contact us at 765-482-2020.

How You Can Help

  • Donate funds to help sponsor this program.

About Us

The Caring Center is a multi-program, not-for-profit organization in Boone County, Indiana, serving hundreds of needy families and thousands of individuals annually through the dedication of scores of volunteers.

Classic Reruns

620 Indianapolis Avenue
Lebanon, IN 46052

765.894.6772 (Classic Reruns)


  • Monday - Friday - 11 am to 6 pm
  • Saturday 11 am to 3 pm

The Caring Center

1230 Ransdell Court
Lebanon, IN 46052


  • Monday & Wednesday - 8 am to 2 pm
  • Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday - 11 am to 5 pm
    • Note: closed on 3rd Tuesday of each month for Senior Mobile Food Pantry
    • Note: closed 4th Thursday of each month for reorganization
  • First Saturday of each month - 9 am to Noon

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