Dog grooming

Kansas City nonprofit dog grooming school hopes for $8.5 million expansion | KCUR 89.3

The Grooming Project, founded by Natasha Kirsch, uses training in the in-demand trade of pet grooming, along with comprehensive support services, to help parents lift themselves out of poverty.

Many people who enter the program have a high school diploma or no diploma at all.

After graduating, groomers can earn between $35,000 and $70,000 a year and have no student debt.

Amanda McIntyre is a former student of The Grooming Project. Now she has opened her own salon, “Classy Canines”, in Independence, Missouri.

Amanda faced challenges early on, including a battle with addiction. She credits much of her success to the program.

“I thank Natasha every day for bringing this to Kansas City, because without her, I would always be lost. And without the program, I would probably be dead,” McIntyre said.

Today, after six years of operation, the Grooming Project has outgrown its facilities.

Kirsch, executive director of the project, has launched an $8.5 million fundraising campaign for a new space, located at 58th and Troost. The fundraiser, named “Expand Prosperity”, will help renovate a dilapidated building near the current school.

The new location will provide staff with space and privacy. In addition, the expansion will more than double the number of families served each year; triple the number of dogs treated daily, dramatically reducing wait times for appointments; and allow dog daycare services.

  • Natasha Kirch, founder and executive director of The Grooming Project
  • Amanda McIntyre, graduate and owner of chic canines
  • Jen Smith, graduate of The Grooming Project

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