Our Service


  • You had to decide between paying your mortgage and feeding your children?
  • You lost your job and had no savings to pay your bills?
  • You needed assistance to pay your rent?
  • You lost your car and had no transportation to get to your employer?

Did you know that 18.51% of our neighbors live in poverty right here in OACAC’s 10-county service area in Southwest Missouri?

That’s well above the poverty rates for Missouri (15.48%) and the United States as a whole (15.5%), according to the U.S. Census Bureau (2014).

The impacts of poverty are serious for those affected:

Poor health

Unstable housing


Missed educational opportunities

Stress on families

What Is the Poverty Simulation?

OACAC’s Poverty Simulation consists of four 15-minute sessions, each representing a week, in which participants grapple with real-life situations faced by individuals living in poverty.

The Simulation forces participants to assume the role of a low-income family and confront the realities of living on a severely restricted income.

The purpose of the Poverty Simulation is three-fold:

  • Promote poverty awareness
  • Increase understanding of the challenges faced by individuals living in poverty
  • Inspire local change to overcome the effects of poverty


How to Volunteer for a Poverty Simulation

Are you interested in making a difference? Do you enjoy interacting with people? If so, OACAC has a volunteer opportunity for you!

We need volunteers to assist with upcoming Poverty Simulations. This opportunity is fun, enjoyable, and makes a positive impact on our community.

Training is provided and a stipend is available for income-eligible volunteers.


Schedule a Poverty Simulation

Would you like to schedule a Poverty Simulation for your organization or business? Do you have questions about volunteering or need more information?

Please contact Carl Thomas at (417) 873-3376, or email [email protected]


Upcoming Poverty Simulations

November 201:30pm - 3:30pmCollege of the Ozarks
Keeter Gymnasium


Help us build awareness and understanding of how poverty impacts our neighbors!


Your gift means more people get to participate in this valuable experience!