Robert, age 34 with one four-year old son, came to Fathers & Families Support Center twice in 2017. Initially, Williams went through FFSC’s Training To Work program earlier in 2017, but left for personal reasons and got locked up shortly after.
Williams faced 8-15 years in prison, but the judge offered him 120 days, a second chance to get his life in order. Williams recalled, “At that moment, I knew it was a sign from God, and I had one more chance to make my life right. I wanted to go back to FFSC! So, I spent that time in jail getting clean from alcohol and drugs and then immediately signed up with FFSC again.”
Second time around, Williams signed up for Training To Work again and was hired by MERS Good Will one week before graduation. “I started earning money to support my four year old son, and it felt so good to provide for his mother and our household.”
Williams also received a raise for his hard work and he recalled wanting to surprise his son: “One day, I gave my son a $5 bill. He took the money, looked at it, and then set it on the dresser. I asked him if he wanted the money. He shook his head no and said ‘Let’s play, Dad!’” That was a turning point for Williams who then realized the purpose of being a father wasn’t how much money you give your kids, but the amount of time you spend with them.
In addition, with no former parenting skills, Williams learned how to become a responsible, involved father both emotionally and financially for his son: “I knew nothing about being a father before coming to FFSC. The classroom facilitators were real men and role models who I could look up to. They had been through the program and came out better for it,” said Williams.
Williams also learned how to create a healthy relationship with the mother of his child: “The Family Formation classes taught me how to build trust and communicate with the mother. Now we are close and good friends. We’re both in his life now for good,” said Williams.