A man with empty trouser pockets, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from EU Social’s photostream

The United States Department of Labor reported last week that in 2010, the number of working poor in America reached its highest level in the last two decades — about 10.5 million Americans, 7.2% of the labor force, were living in poverty.  46.2 million Americans, 15.1% of the entire population, were living below the poverty line. Moreover, the number of U.S. households classified as being in “extreme poverty” more than doubled between 1996 and 2011. Now, Just Harvest and the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work’s Economic and Social Work Class are providing a learning opportunity of just how poverty affects real people. They’re offering a poverty simulation exercise — “A Week in the Life” — on Wednesday, April 18th.

Participants will assume the roles of low-income family members and attempt to make ends meet on a limited budget. Each 15-minute session will represent one day in a week of struggling to get by. The purpose of the exercise is the belief that gaining a greater understanding of how poverty affects real people is key to working toward its solution. There will be a short debriefing at the end of the exercise.

You can find out more information on this event at the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/events/400186173343661/ and at the event flier here. Please R.S.V.P. (ASAP) by logging on to their registration site at: http://povertysim.eventbrite.com/. You can contact tsssw@pitt.edu  for additional information, problems or questions.

“A Week in the Life” Poverty Simulation
Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 6:00 TO 9:00 P.M. (6:00-6:30 Registration, 6:30-8:30 Simulation, 8:30–9:00 Debriefing)
Where: University of Pittsburgh, Connolly Ballroom in Alumni Hall (Fifth Ave. at Lyntton, right across from the Cathedral of Learning)

Empty fridge, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from ndanger’s photostream