After getting married and having a son, Jeff Waller expected to live happily ever after, but life had other plans. His marriage fell apart and a long court battle ensued for the custody of his son, Mason. “I had no one,” Waller said. “My family lives out of state and because of my work schedule, I hadn’t formed any friendships, and I had no one to talk to.”
To make matters worse, the attorney working on Waller’s custody case dropped out and left him with a legal mess to fix on his own. “I was out of money and time and desperate enough to knock on any door that would open for me,” Waller admitted. “All I wanted was 50/50 custody of my son and I was willing to do anything.”
That’s when a social worker told him about Fathers & Families Support Center. On that day, Waller called FFSC, met with facilitators the same day and signed up for classes. “I needed a better job to help support my son and pay my legal fees, but I didn’t even have good dress clothes for interviews,” Waller said. “I felt hope after coming to FFSC. They really care about children and teaching fathers to help themselves.”
During the six-week Family Formation program, Waller improved his parenting skills and learned how to communicate with the mother of his son to build a co-parenting plan. “Staff taught me to never disrespect the mother of your child, no matter what she says or does,” Waller said.
By the end of the six weeks, Waller had a new suit and two job offers – one at a local aerospace company and the other at a local telecommunications company. “Because I did the work and made the necessary changes in my life, staff worked hard to help me find a job that would provide for my son and I.”
At his new job now for only four months, management wants to promote Waller to supervisor: “FFSC taught me to dress for the job you want. So, everyday I wear a suit, even though people joke about it,” Waller said. “It works obviously!”
Although the road wasn’t easy for Waller, he continued for the sake of his son and the new friendships made: “Other than my son, what kept me going was the people who work at FFSC. I made life-long friendships with staff, who only wanted the best for my son and I,” Waller said. “Today, I have people who care. FFSC is always there for me.”