The Family First Parent Empowerment Program was started in direct response to the desperation we found when we reopened our center after the COVID lockdown of 2020. We were overwhelmed with the needs of families being evicted from their homes, parents struggling to feed their hungry children, and sick babies whose parents had no access to the medical care they required. Families were struggling and we needed a new tool to help them find stability and independence.
The program’s goal is to get to the root issues that keep people locked in poverty and dependency. We started with 18 families, providing basic business classes, a loan, and tutoring for their children who were under the age of 5. Six months later, 16 of those families had growing businesses that were able to provide for all the needs of their families! But we knew even more was needed. We expanded the program into an intensive year-long program focusing on three core issues that keep adults in our community from an independent, bright future: deep psychological trauma, learned helplessness, and limited access to business development tools.