June 16, 2011
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Free Saturday events build on President Obama’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative: Strong Fathers, Strong Families.
WASHINGTON — All across the U.S., public housing authorities are gearing up for Father’s Day weekend.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is excited that approximately 200 agencies across the nation answered HUD’s call to host Father’s Day 2011 events this Saturday — the day before the official Father’s Day — to celebrate fatherhood, family and to support dads in staying connected with their children. To see what housing authorities are hosting events in your area, visit Father’s Day 2011 Housing Authorities.
In towns, big and small, public housing authorities will use the day to celebrate fatherhood and the importance of dads being connected with their children who live in public housing or surrounding communities. The events have a two-fold purpose: Providing fun activities to support the bonding of fathers and their children and connecting fathers to economic development resources.
“Saturday’s events speak directly to President Obama’s recently announced Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative, Strong Fathers, Strong Families,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, himself a father of two. “Children with involved fathers grow up happier, healthier and better prepared to succeed in life. Yet every night, one-out-of-three American kids go to bed in a home without a father present. Our hope is the resources provided at these events will leave fathers feeling stronger and better prepared in their desire to be the best parents they can be.”
The local offices of other federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education and Justice, are getting ready to offer on-site information and services such as employment resources, healthcare consultation and legal counseling this weekend. In some cities, participants will meet athletes from the NFL and NBA, who will join in on the fun, while the Read it LOUD! Foundation has already distributed more than 1,600 free children’s books to participating housing authorities.
Nearly 200 housing authorities in 34 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands will participate in Fathers Day 2011 and have partnered with other organizations the Boys & Girls Club of America, Legal Services Corporation and the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), an organization created in 1994 to raise the awareness of the importance of fathers.
Together, these groups are delivering a clear message — 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’s national Father’s 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.