Welcome to LIFTopolis

LIFTopolis is a one-of-a-kind interactive simulation that replicates the current social services system. This unique role playing activity gives grantmakers, nonprofit leaders, elected officials, students and more a chance to better understand what our members (the parents and caregivers we serve) experience when they try to navigate a complicated social services system.


How does it work?

LIFT transforms a venue into “LIFTopolis,” a city with a broad social safety net of providers and programs. Volunteers portray the role of employees and you play the role of real-life citizens looking for a little help. It’s your job by the end of the activity to have accomplished the goals assigned to you at the start. Each story and scenario are based on actual examples from our members.

Through the simulated week (actually four, 12-minute periods), participants must carefully budget and re-budget, both time and money. The goal is not to try and recreate what it’s like to live in poverty but to help provide some perspective about how stressful life can be for the hardworking families we work with.

At the end of the four “days,” all participants reconvene to decompress, reflect and brainstorm ideas that could help improve the current systems and better assist parents on their paths to creating better futures for their families.

Related Resources

Learn more about past LIFTopolis experiences through blog posts, photo albums and videos:

Want to learn more?

Contact Collin Kee at ckee@liftcommunities.org