Nation's Housing Authorities to Celebrate Fathers Day
Communities host free one-day celebration of dads
With the help of hundreds of public housing authorities across the nation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is taking Father’s Day to a whole new level. HUD appealed to the nation’s 3,200 public housing authorities to host Father’s Day 2011 on Saturday, June 18th – a day to celebrate fatherhood, family and to support fathers in staying connected with their children.
These public housing agencies invited fathers and their children who live in the public housing or the surrounding community to day-long events with a two-fold purpose – 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, asked 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 meet athletes from the NFL and NBA, who joined in on the fun while others received free books from the Read it LOUD Program.
“Children with involved fathers grow up happier, healthier and better prepared to succeed in life,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, himself a father of two. “Yet 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.”
Nearly 200 housing authorities in 33 States participated in Fathers Day 2011 and partnered 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 — America needs dads.
Atlanta’s “Celebrating Fathers 2011” Event
The Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) is just one example of a housing authority that participated in this event. Their event themed, “Celebrating Fathers 2011” was attended by more than 130 fathers and children. Many of the fathers in attendance have already written letters and expressed their thanks to AHA for providing an opportunity for their families to enjoy meaningful quality time together while getting connected to needed services.
AHA’s Fathers’ Day Celebration was filled with a variety of activities for children and fathers to enjoy including face painting, arts and crafts, a game room, a photo booth, basketball, kick ball, dancing, a barbeque lunch, and a live horseback riding demonstration by the Buffalo Soldiers Greater Atlanta Chapter. Additionally, a resource room with representatives from city agencies and community-based organizations was available to connect fathers to services and resources that eliminate barriers to upward mobility and family success.
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.