About 80 attend 2nd Recovery Simulation Event

December 5, 2023

On Dec. 1, 2023, SOS Berks hosted it’s second Recovery Simulation event with about 80 people in attendance, including 46 participants and numerous volunteers. A Recovery Simulation is an interactive event that allows participants to experience and better understand the challenges faced by those in early recovery. Each participant receives a life card that represents a person in early recovery. They must then complete tasks on the life card within a 15-minute time frame by visiting tables manned by volunteers. Tasks may include seeking employment, visiting social services, paying rent, finding transportation, and meeting with a probation officer. Participants often must wait in long lines, and are sometimes faced with unforeseen circumstances like power outages or traffic jams that make it impossible to complete their tasks. When someone can’t make a rent payment during the simulation, they are forced to carry a chair with them everywhere–an extra burden representing homelessness.

SOS Berks held its first Recovery Simulation in April 2023. It proved so popular that a second event was planned. Both events were held at Easy Does It, Inc. in Bern Township. Two more Recovery Simulations will be held in 2024.

Event Photos

Participants are handed a Life Card at check-in representing a person in early recovery.

Volunteers set up tables representing tasks participants must complete.

Participants are given limited paper “money” to pay for items such as rent & transportation

Many must seek employment

Participants are often forced to wait in long lines, particularly at the probation table

People who failed to pay their rent were evicted and forced to walk around with a chair, representing homelessness.

When the 15-minute intervals are over, organizer Jackie Steed announces the names of people who did not complete their tasks. They lose 2-minutes from the next session.

When the simulation ended, Dr. Ramona Roberts led a discussion in which people shared their thoughts about the event.