Junior League of Salt Lake City

EPIC: A JLSLC Project with CAP Head Start at Palmer Court

What is CAP Head Start?

Salt Lake CAP Head Start is a comprehensive early childhood development program serving low-income children from age three to five and their families. Children who attend Head Start participate in a variety of educational activities including literacy, language, science, social-emotional, and much more. They also receive medical and dental services, have healthy meals and snacks, and enjoy playing safely indoors and outdoors.

What is Palmer Court?

Palmer Court is a development run by The Road Home that has approximately 201 studio, 1-, & 2- bedroom affordable apartments for families and individuals emerging from homelessness. The purpose of this development is to help individuals and families move out of homelessness and attain affordable and appropriate long term housing. The program staff and volunteers will work beside the tenants to help improve their quality of life by connecting them to existing community resources, and helping them to achieve stability.

What is the Junior League of Salt Lake City's role with Salt Lake CAP Head Start at Palmer Court?

In this three-year collaborative project with Salt Lake CAP Head Start at Palmer Court, the Junior League of Salt Lake City will improve the lives of children and families as they transition out of homelessness. The Junior League mentors and educates residents and their children to foster life skills that will improve self esteem and self sufficiency.

Why is this an important program?
  • It is estimated that there are at least 4,000 people across Utah who are homeless each night. The numbers have grown quickly, with the most rapid growth in the number of homeless children. These people are poor, staying on the streets, in a shelter or substance abuse treatment center, and most have no resources to meet their basic needs.
  • 14% of the homeless population are adults in families and 18% are children.
  • The Road Home and Palmer Court work with the Housing First approach, where the chronically homeless are assisted with housing first and then helped with their other problems through intense case management. This approach is less expensive than the traditional approach to chronic homelessness, and it opens up community resources for others in need.
  • In a comparative study investigating the motivation of children enrolled in Head Start, children in cities who were not enrolled in Head Start, and middle class children enrolled in an affiliated preschool, Head Start children were found to have a greater degree of motivation than their non-Head Start peers.
  • Head Start has immediate positive effects on children's socio-emotional development, including self-esteem, achievement motivation, and social behavior. By the end of their Head Start year, children scored higher in all three areas than their non Head Start peers.
  • Children leaving Head Start are indeed "ready to learn," because they have, in fact learned a great deal by the end of Kindergarten. By the spring of the Kindergarten year, Head Start graduates made substantial gains in word knowledge, letter recognition, math skills and writing skills relative to national norms.
  • Head Start parents cited Head Start as an important source of support in rearing their children. In addition, Head Start parents reported a greater sense of control over their own lives at the end of Head Start than at the beginning.
For more statistics about homelessness click here. For more statistics about Head Start click here.