On Tuesday, December 19th, Dane County UW-Extension hosted a poverty simulation for fire chiefs, new graduates, and office employees alike at Fire Station #1 in downtown Madison. Each participant became a member of families with diverse structures, needs, and barriers. Some of them went to school full time, others worked part time, many found themselves navigating the system of applying for assistance, and some ended up evicted or in jail. Volunteers from UW-Extension and Madison Fire Department served as grocers, teachers, employers, human services representatives, cops, bankers, etc. to either help or hinder the participants’ success in completing all necessary tasks in one month. A debriefing session at the end allowed participants to share how they felt during the simulation and how this might apply to their jobs as first responders in very stressful situations. This experience helps these first responders better understand the stressors and barriers that many of their clients face each day. For more information on bringing a poverty simulation to your organization, please visit FEC Program Offerings for Organizations and Corporations.