Crosslines Poverty Simulation Comes to Fair Grove


Mr. Overstreet overseeing the jail during the simulation.

Jordan Van Nostrand

        Tuesday, January 3rd, Crosslines came to the Fair Grove High School to give the students the chance to participate in the Poverty Simulation. The Poverty Simulation split the classes of students into their separate years and then split them into small “families.” The families had various backgrounds and differed in how many people were in each family. Every person had their own backstory, some were criminals, some disabled, a few were both. The families were tasked with surviving one month without being evicted from their properties. To keep from being evicted students had to prioritize what mattered most in their current situation. The families had to choose whether to take the kids to school or go to work or pay the bills.

        The amount of work that the families had to do was too much for some, so they turned to crime. During the simulation there were police patrolling the grounds and to make the simulation a little more realistic the students were allowed to commit crimes and try and escape the police. Some stole from the bank,while others would steal from other families, one student bought out all of one item from the pawn shop and sold them to other students for inflated prices.

       The point of the simulation was not to show how many times you could be arrested though. Rachel Moore, the Community Resource Specialist at Crosslines stated, “The impact I would hope the simulation would have on people is to show them that it is not as easy to get out of poverty as they thought it was.” Which is why the simulation was so tough for the students to get through, because it was realistic. The students were forced to live the lives of families who were not so different from some of their own. While the students had fun during the event it is important that they understand why it is that the simulation was here in the first place. “I’m hoping that as a community we will help each other more and be kinder and more supportive,” said Rachel Moore.