Mentoring and teaching is the focus of our career-training track. Our goal is to develop character and build cross-cultural relationships, life skills, and leadership ability. Teaching skits portray situational challenges the kids encounter in their everyday experience and illustrate how to make good choices that avoid violence. We also offer academic tutoring and personal support and intervention occasionally including legal assistance. Our success is measurable and sustainable. Over 80 % of the attendees have shown significant behavior improvement at home and in school. All have shown scholastic improvement and a greater desire to learn. The children love Father's House and want to participate in every event.
The Father’s House Kids logo portrays the caring heart that surrounds the work with the boys. We have 20 full time adult volunteers and four students who are leaders. Our goal is to build the young boys to become successful men, and successful men to become loving, responsible fathers and caring, community- minded leaders. In the future, we plan to expand to include a program for girls and young women as finances and volunteers allow.
Father’s House Kids began one afternoon in 2012 at 1707 Esplanade Avenue. Built in 1859, the historic building is the home of the founding members of FHK. A group of boys were bouncing their basketball in the street. Suddenly, they stopped and stood in the driveway of the house and looked longingly at the basketball hoop inside on the property. One of the owners waved to them. They yelled out, “Can we play wid’ it?” The answer was, “Yes, you can.” On Monday there were three boys and by Friday, there were six boys. Soon they were asking, “Can we have some water?” and “we are hungry.” A loaf of bread and a jar of jelly were brought out to the picnic table and playtime became a “basketball picnic.” Soon children as young as six were walking three miles to visit. We have had children younger than 10 knocking on the door after 8PM because they cannot get into their homes
The need was clear and our hearts were melted. The property could be used to provide a safe base and central location where youth could seek refuge, enjoy recreational activities, and receive the support and programs necessary to change their lives. Since the program’s inception we have acquired more properties to serve more programs.
Today Father’s House Kids has impacted the lives of over a 100 boys and young men without any advertising and with an all-volunteer team of professionals and laypersons.
The Fathers House Kids enjoy many activities at 1707 Esplanade Avenue. This central location provides a safe base where the boys can learn to swim or cool off in the pool during the summer months or practice their basketball skills and be a part of the outdoor games.
David’s Den is a multi-use custom space located next door to Fathers House. There are lockers for the basketball team and a video room that doubles as a classroom for those in need of tutoring or extra mentorship. Life skills such as the purpose of work, money management, proper nutrition, personal hygiene, and conflict resolution are taught. There is a full kitchen where we serve meals several times a week. The food budget for 2015 is $30K and goes toward providing nutritionally sound meals including chicken, vegetables, sandwiches, pizza, protein bars, sports drinks, bottled water, juice, and fresh fruit.
This Year FHK partnered with Youth Restoration Inc. (YRI). YRI has similar goals to FHK but is geared to young men 18-25. In 2015 YRI & FHK teamed to renovate an existing building about 1 mile from the main facility. YRI and FHK use it at separate times. This synergy allows for maximum use. The 3500 square foot building includes a tool shop, wood working shop, engine repair area, and a 1500 square foot STEM classroom. Breakfast, snacks and lunch are served.
At this facility, we make observations and then demonstrate the science behind it. This has been a very effective method to teach critical thinking.