• Escape from Poverty Challenge

Living in poverty is no game – it’s a reality many single mothers face. The Escape from Poverty Challenge is an interactive experience where teams must make difficult decisions based on the limited budget of a low-income single mother struggling to parent, feed her children and pay rent.

The average single mother living at YWCA Crabtree Corner Housing in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside struggles to support her family on an annual income of less than $10,000.  This simulation brings your team face-to-face with a single mother's financial and life experiences, challenging you to make tough decisions within a set time limit. 

“I’m still buzzing from yesterday! The energy in the office following yesterday’s experience is so wonderful. Every single person who attended was moved.” 
—Escape From Poverty Challenge Participant

How it works

Each team must raise a minimum of $500 to participate. Teams include up to 3-4 individuals – they can be your colleagues, friends or family.

The challenge will be facilitated by YWCA staff and clients – some of whom have lived through many of the challenges you'll face.

At the start, you'll receive the profile of a low-income single mother and journey through three months of her life. As you navigate her story, you'll face unexpected challenges while trying to provide for your family. Will you be able to escape poverty?

The challenge runs for 45 minutes.  Teams will then participate in a talking circle to share experiences and hear from the women whose lives inspired the Escape from Poverty Challenge.

Giving back to the community

Fundraising is easy through our online platform and your efforts will help us provide essential housing and financial literacy support to low-income families in the Downtown Eastside. 

Learn more about YWCA Crabtree Corner Housing and Crabtree Corner Community Resource Centre.


The challenge is an eye-opening experience that can improve your team's problem‑solving, communication and leadership skills as they learn about the realities women in Vancouver's most vulnerable neighbourhood face.  

Only eight teams may participate. 

To participate or for more information, contact Vanessa Wellington at vwellington@ywcavan.org | 604 895 5826