With the help of hundreds of public housing authorities across the nation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is taking Father‚Äôs Day to a whole new level. HUD appealed to the nation‚Äôs 3,200 public housing authorities to host¬†Father‚Äôs Day 2011 on Saturday, June 18th ‚Äď a day to celebrate fatherhood, family and to support fathers in staying connected with their children. These public housing agencies are inviting fathers and their children who live in the public housing or the surrounding community to day-long events with a two-fold purpose ‚Äď to provide fun activities to support the bonding of fathers and their children and simultaneously connecting fathers to economic development resources.
Federal partners, including the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Agriculture, and the Departments of Education and Justice, are asking their local grantees and offices to offer on-site information and services such as employment resources, healthcare consultation and legal counseling.¬† In some cities, participants will meet athletes from the NFL and NBA, who will join in on the fun while others will receive free books from the Read it LOUD Program.¬† Children with involved fathers grow up happier, healthier and better prepared to succeed in life,‚ÄĚ said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, himself a father of two. ‚ÄúYet every night, one-out-of -three American children goes to bed in a home without a father present.¬† These events will bring fathers and their children together and connect the dads to the social and economic resources they need to be the best parents they can be.‚ÄĚ
To date nearly 200 housing authorities in 33 states will participate in¬†Fathers Day 2011 and are partnering with other organizations including the NFL, NBA, Boys & Girls Club of America, and the¬†National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI),¬† an organization created in 1993 to raise the awareness of the importance of fathers.¬† Together, these groups are delivering a clear message ‚ÄĒ¬†America needs dads.
According U.S. Census data, 24 million American children live in a home without a father.¬† Also, NFI says children in homes absent a father are five times more likely to be poor; and are more likely to drop out of school or be incarcerated.
HUD‚Äôs national¬†Father‚Äôs Day 2011 campaign is in part modeled after the New York City Housing Authority 2010 Fatherhood Initiative, which hosted a day-long event in all five of its boroughs to kick off ongoing economic development, parenting workshops, tutoring and bonding activities for fathers and children.
Thanks to Robert Yourell, NCFM Liaison, Baja, Mexico for this information. The federal government is finally starting to do something for Dads. Progress.