Supporting and celebrating dads
Homeward House is about recognizing and supporting fathers and fathers-to-be who are experiencing poverty and are on the journey from crisis to treatment and recovery.
Children do better when dads are involved
In the past decade, research has confirmed what is obvious to those of us who work with families: Children do better when fathers are involved in their lives. But, unfortunately, fathers tend to be invisible to many programs and services designed to support families in crisis treatment and recovery.
Most services are centered around mothers and children. Whether it’s housing, treatment, or employment, we’re typically encircling the mom, and the dad is kinda pushed off to the side.
Members of the Homeward House Collaborative are committed to improving the available support for fathers-to-be and fathers with infants in Snohomish County.
Research confirms the critical role of fathers
Fortunately, research about the critical role that dads have in their children’s lives is growing. For example, we now know that, on average, children whose fathers are actively involved tend to have fewer problems with school achievement, behavior, and social interaction than children whose fathers are not actively involved in their lives. Increasingly, policymakers and practitioners alike are looking for ways to engage fathers in programming. (Source: National Fatherhood Initiative® 2019. Father Facts: Eighth Edition. Germantown, MD: National Fatherhood Initiative®.)
Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring.
We are supporting fathers-to-be and fathers of infants who are experiencing poverty
A growing number of dads are stepping up in place of moms to seek support and services at Homeward House. We help them face many challenges that are unique to fathers.
For example, there are very few shelters in Snohomish County that will take single fathers. When dads find one that does, they are typically faced with a catch-22 situation: They cannot get housing unless they have their children with them, and they cannot have their children with them unless they have housing.
Edward Hurst is one of those single fathers engaged with Homeward House. As was recently featured on KOMO News, Edward was able to secure housing through Interfaith Family Shelter, a member of the Homeward House Collaborative. His Homeward House parent ally mentor talks and meets with Edward frequently, providing support, encouragement, and connections to other resources as he navigates each phase of his unique process to stabilize his family.
Helping single fathers face unique challenges isn’t new to Homeward House. One of the program’s first success stories is that of Ricky, a single father who was in jail when his daughter was born. His story highlights the lengths fathers must sometimes go to overcome the barriers in existing systems and is featured in the following video produced by United Way of Snohomish County’s CORE Collaborative initiative, a key supporter of Homeward House.
I got the resource that saved my life. They took a chance on me. It wasn’t easy, but I did it; I feel like a million bucks.
For single fathers, the child welfare system can make you feel like you’re alone and don’t have anyone you can talk to and lean on. It’s important to reach out for support. Getting help doesn’t mean that you are weak; it’s actually a sign of strength.
Homeward House provides support to fathers-to-be and fathers of a child under 1 year of age who are experiencing poverty and challenges associated with substance use disorders and seeking custody or reunification with their child or children.
If you are a father-to-be or a dad to an infant up to age 1, Homeward House is here for you. Reach out to us!
Other resources for fathers
- Fathers Matter Outreach Project — Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families
- Washington State Fathers Network