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poverty simulation

High School through Adult

Our signature event, the Poverty Simulation Week is like nothing you've ever done. It is not a typical "mission trip" and more than merely a retreat. We will lead your group through a life of poverty. From the moment you arrive, you step into the world of the working poor -- those tens of millions of Americans who work hard and never really get anywhere. 

I believe in my heart that every day this week God was talking to me...

Poverty, you'll soon see, isn't just about money; it is about what you eat, where you stay, how you work, how much or little control you have over your circumstances, what surprises and anxieties you encounter day-to-day, and how it never ever ends. What would it be like to be a single parent of 3 living on minimum wage in America? We’ll help you find out. You’ll work, live and pray, earning low wages and trying to provide the things your family needs. Of course, no simulation is perfect, but this one will push you to your limits and leave you wondering how we let people live this way. Food, shelter, health care, child care, work, hygiene, transportation, leisure— all these and more become part of the challenge as your try to build a life from scratch.   

SoJust

for middle school only

This half-week introduction to social justice themes is just for middle school. Youth completing grades 5-7 may not be ready for the intensity of the Poverty Simulation. In just 4 days, youth will experience a "social justice camp," exploring biblical themes, neighborhood issues and character development through games, movies, activities, worship and service projects. They'll go home ready to hear scripture and see their own community in a new way. 

Advanced Leadership

Done with the Poverty Simulation, but want to keep growing? You'll want to explore our advanced leadership events. 

The next step is our Level II: Leadership for Church and Community. Or as we call it, "Life like Jesus, but without the crucifixion." 

I always thought things were pretty okay. Then I realized there’s work to be done. UrbanSpirit ruins everything.

In this week-long event, you'll learn to bring change and work for justice -- to become a powerful force in your own community. The simulation is about seeing poverty with fresh eyes. Level II is about making a difference, a week-long how-to event, including how to be an advocate, talk to your elected officials, challenge stereotypes, build relationships across class lines, and more. 

Then, there's Level III...