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"Pawsperity" makes moves to get into new space ahead of the holidays

Non-profit grooming space triples in size
Student groomer at Pawsperity
Posted at 5:41 PM, Dec 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-16 18:41:11-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — You might remember KSHB did a story in June on a non-profit called the Grooming Project.

Now the non-profit which was known as the Grooming Project has a new name and a new home.

The non-profit, now called "Pawsperity" , goal is still the same: a place for anyone struggling financially or mentally can come in, get the help they need, but also become dog groomers, helping them get a job.

"I was in a really broken place and there were a lot of things broken in me that I didn’t realize were broken until I got into the program," said Christina Johnson, a grooming instructor who attended classes at "Pawperity".

Johnson's story started like many of those who come through the "Pawsperity" doors. Johnson lost her son, and it was hard to get back on her feet.

"It gave me tools to better handle things, then I used to, ‘cause I used to kind of implode when I would have stress happen," Johnson said. "I would handle it on the outside fine, but on the inside I was a mess."

It takes 644 hours of grooming, around six to nine months to graduate the program. It's a 100-percent job placement guarantee. It can graduate 30 to 40 students right now, but the size of the space will allow them to bring in 90 at a time.

"One of our students was bragging about how she was able to spend $700 on Christmas presents for her children, and it didn’t hurt her," said Leilani Haywood, a marketing specialist for the non-profit. "This atmosphere that we’ve created here reinforces that they are worth a lot, and they’re worth investing in, they’re worth working with, and that they are a valuable part of the community."

On top of the grooming classes, "Pawsperity" offers case management, mindfulness classes, a food pantry, donation closet, and now a dorm for students.