Empowering the Parent to Empower the Child (EPEC) is a 501(c)3 organization which addresses homelessness and generational poverty through its principal program, The Grooming Project, a certified pet grooming school in Kansas City, Missouri. Students accepted into The Grooming Project, all struggling single parents with a history of trauma, homelessness, and/or incomplete education, are given a clear pathway out of poverty through hands-on job training and internships in the high-pay, in-demand trade of pet grooming. Additionally, they are given much-needed support services to address their unique histories, circumstances, and needs.
Our six month skill training program in pet grooming is supplemented with classes in soft skills (e.g., self-motivation, parenting, interpersonal relations, customer service), case management (e.g., housing, childcare, mental health and medical needs), and job placement services as they reach the end of their training period.
Graduates of our program also take part in our 18-month Bridge program, which helps them navigate the rigors of their new jobs and the struggles they encounter as they learn to become self-reliant. The Bridge program supplies graduates with regular check-ins to coach them through any difficulties they face in their jobs, budgeting help as they learn to manage bills and a regular salary, as well as support from other graduates who are going through the same adjustment period. Our cumulative six-month training and 18-month Bridge programs give students the skills and experience they need to break the cycle of poverty and change their children's futures quickly, moving from homelessness to self-sufficiency in under two years.