“Fathers & Families Support Center was there for me when I needed help most! They helped me prepare for full-time fatherhood, so my kids will have the best future with an involved and responsible dad.”
When Lawrence Tate contacted FFSC, he was on a mission to build a future for himself and his unborn child. His pregnant girlfriend, who had relapsed on drugs, was locked up and would give birth to his son in prison. Tate, who had already completed a drug treatment program with a year clean, agreed with the mother that it was in the child’s best interest that he file for full custody, since the mother would be incarcerated.
Tate signed up for FFSC’s six-week program, and began working with Lisl Williams in the legal department to initiate the process of filing for custody. While attending FFSC, he learned how to care for his newborn child as a single father. He also learned parenting skills, co-parenting tools, how to establish healthy relationships and managing a family budget.
After giving birth and being released from prison, the mother attempted to stay clean from drugs but relapsed again, while she was pregnant with Tate’s second child. That’s when he contacted Lisl Williams again for full custody of his second son while the mother served time for her drug arrest. FFSC’s legal department gave Tate all the tools he needed to represent himself in court. As a result, he was awarded full custody of his second son.
In the last few years, Habitat For Humanity awarded Tate a new home which he and a group of volunteers helped build. “I was paying $625 for an apartment,” he said. “Today, my monthly mortgage payment is $550!” He has also maintained a full-time position at St. Patrick’s Center to support his children and has over a decade of sobriety.
Although Tate and the mother are no longer together, the communication and co-parenting tools FFSC taught him helped maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship. They remain friends today, and both are involved in their children’s lives.