Trading Places

Empathy is the most revolutionary emotion. ~ Gloria Steinem

Our “Trading Places” poverty simulations break down stereotypes by allowing participants to step into the real life shoes of families living in poverty.  Poverty is complex. This simulation allows participants to experience these complexities and learn how low-income individuals are impacted by the effects of poverty.

What would you do if you were…
-a single parent with limited resources, no transportation and must find a way to get to work and your child to daycare?
-an elderly person who must find a way to pay for both utilities and medication?
-a young adult caring for siblings while your parent is incarcerated?
– an elderly couple raising grandchildren and dealing with your own health and employment issues?


After the simulation, participants have the opportunity to discuss what they have learned and share observations and insights from the experience.


GBM’s Trading Places Poverty Simulation can mean different things to different participants. For faith communities, it can help frame conversations around charity vs. justice. For service providers, it can help you better recognize the needs and barriers for your clients. For community leaders, it can help you create and implement policies and programs that address the issue of poverty more effectively. For everyone, it builds empathy and appreciation and inspires a commitment to make a positive difference in our diverse communities.


These workshops are on hold during the pandemic, as we usually have at least 40 participants in one room.  If you are interested in learning more about the simulation, contact Carolyn at