Reconnecting Families and Dad
HUD is gearing up for Father’s Day’s 2013 and registration is now open for the 3rd annual event. Father’s Day 2013 is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development initiative that aims to strengthen the bond between children and their fathers, who are often absent from the lives of their children who live in public and multi-family housing. Concurrently, the initiative has the goal of connecting dads to supportive services in their communities including, job training, health screenings and education opportunities. For the past three years HUD has asked Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) across the U.S. to host an event on the Saturday before Father's Day in June that achieves these goals. This year, the date is Saturday, June 15, but housing authorities should feel free to be flexible with the date of their events. This is an opportunity to empower families —fathers, children and mothers — while also connecting Dad's with economic, employment, health and education resources.
Why is HUD Focusing on Fatherhood?
In line with HUD’s 2010-2015 Strategic Plan Goal 3: “using housing as a platform to improve the quality of life of our residents,” this focus on fatherhood in public housing flows from current statistics that show when fathers are absent children suffer. This in no way suggests that HUD does not recognize the critical importance of mothers. The majority of public housing households with children are headed by single women who earn less than $9,000 annually, and they do a tremendous job of raising their children. However, according to statistics drawn from communities across the country, children raised in absent father families are more at-risk for a host of negative factors, including dropping out of school. The focus on Father’s Day is meant to be a starting point; either a celebration of existing relationships or a reason to form first connections.
Father's Day History
Adapted from the NYCHA Fatherhood Initiative, HUD’s Father’s Day Initiative was developed in response to the stark socio-economic data indicating how children and youth are being negatively affected by father absent homes. For the first celebration, 209 PHAs from 33 states held Father’s Day events. An estimated 22,000 fathers, children, mothers and many others participated in events that local public housing authorities held all over the nation. In some cities, participants met athletes from the NFL and NBA, who joined in on the fun, while the Read it LOUD! Foundation distributed more than 1,600 free children’s books to housing authorities that participated.
(NEW) Watch: NFL Player Andra Davis on the Joys of Fatherhood (YouTube)