Fathers Incorporated is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a 17-year history as a nationally recognized fatherhood promotion organization. FI is a leader in the fatherhood field and is known for its national and local media and outreach focused on improving father engagement in the lives of children. FI believes that the presence or absence of fathers shapes the way children view the world and interact with people and that fathers are an essential element in successful families and thriving, stable, healthy communities.
Fathers Incorporated’s ZION HOUSE project intends to serve fathers, young fathers-to-be, and parents in the Atlanta Metro area.
We are entering this bold journey of starting our capital campaign to build a 30,000 sq. ft—Family Center to provide support and services intentionally for Atlanta Dads and their families. The facility will include training spaces, child visitation areas, gym, event space, offices, job training, community garden, etc.
We anticipate that it will take up to a year to launch the campaign and determine total project costs. These funds will help with attorney fees, architectural rendings, website design, realtor fees, project consultants, a fundraising platform, support staff, etc.
Fathers in the Atlanta area are faced with many challenges. In addition to the lack of human service options, they are also dealing with these factors:
Over 10% of the population in each county live below the poverty line. Over 10% of children in the intended target area living in poverty. In at least three counties (DeKalb, Clayton, and Rockdale), over 20% of children in those counties live below the poverty line. Over 40% of Black children live in households where the head of household receives some form of public assistance. More than 15% of households in the target area are single-parent female-led households.
The lack of father involvement is strongly correlated with poverty, poor school performance, and risky behaviors. On the other hand, children with father involvement are more likely to perform better in school, are more emotionally secure, and more likely to exhibit positive social behaviors. Additionally, children who grow up in single-parent families, which are more likely to be female-led, often do not have comparable socioeconomic resources available to them as children who grow up in two-parent families.
Unemployment directly impacts the financial wherewithal for Black fathers and their children. The latest United States Department of Labor unemployment statistics shows that 14.7% of all Americans are out of work, an increase of 10.3 percentage points for April, alone. 14.2% of whites are unemployed, while Black and Hispanic unemployment is 16.7% and 18.9%, respectively. Before COVID-19, Black unemployment was at least twice as high as white unemployment rates nationally as well as across 12 states and D.C. Recent research suggests that Blacks have lower rates of upward mobility and higher rates of downward mobility than whites, leading to large income disparities that persist across generations.
Fathers Incorporated believes that the building of this center will not only provide much-needed services to Atlanta's dads but serve as a beacon of hope to those individuals that are marginalized, at-risk, and underserved.
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