Poverty simulation examines fears, frustrations of low-income families


TXU Energy Senior Manager for Customer Advocacy Kim Campbell, third from left, receives a plaque presented to the company by Tony Reyes, second from left, executive director of Mission 911 in Corpus Christi. Sarah Donchey, left, and Rachel Cole of KRIS-TV emceed a poverty simulation event where TXU Energy was honored as corporate partner of the year.

TXU Energy Senior Manager for Customer Advocacy Kim Campbell, third from left, receives a plaque presented to the company by Tony Reyes, second from left, executive director of Mission 911 in Corpus Christi. Sarah Donchey, left, and Rachel Cole of KRIS-TV emceed a poverty simulation event where TXU Energy was honored as corporate partner of the year.

U.S. Rep Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, called a recent community action poverty simulation “a unique opportunity to study poverty in the United States.”

Early this month, TXU Energy hosted the simulation, Building the Bridge Out, with Mission 911 in Corpus Christi to help more than 150 community members experience what it might be like to live the life of a typical low-income family.

“The objective of a poverty simulation is to sensitize participants to the realities faced by low-income families,” said Kim Campbell, TXU Energy’s senior manager for customer advocacy. “It is difficult for those who have enough to truly understand the situations that families living in poverty experience every day – the decisions they have to make, and the fears and frustrations they feel.”

Mission 911, a TXU Energy Aid partner, recently named TXU Energy as corporate sponsor of the year. Along with TXU Energy Aid, the company and the nonprofit group have worked together on Beat The Heat and Holiday Cents events, as well as several other poverty simulations.

During a simulation, participants role-play the lives of low-income families, from single parents trying to care for their children to senior citizens trying to maintain their self- sufficiency on Social Security. The task of each family is to provide food, shelter and other basic necessities during the simulation while interacting with various community resources staffed by low-income volunteers.

“I want to thank you for your continued efforts to examine poverty problems across the country,” Farenthold wrote. “It is a painful realization that is too often ignored by our society, and I applaud the spotlight you are placing on the issue.”

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