TOLEDO (WTOL) - Brothers United is taking a different approach to creating healthy family relationships in Lucas County. They are taking the time to work closely with local fathers.
For 24 days, participants meet to learn and develop co-parenting skills. Fathers then take what they have learned in the classroom back to their homes.
“(We’re) learning that even though we might not be in the same house, we still can communicate,” said BU participant Jarbis Moorrman.
This dedicated staff wants to reach all fathers who are looking to improve.
“We have an a.m., and a p.m. group, and in the middle of the day we have an afternoon group for our young fathers. We meet them after school,” said Avis Files, director of Family Supportive Services.
“In fatherhood services, fathers are definitely neglected. (They’re) definitely not thought about because there’s so much negative stigma around fathers; we just assume that fathers are absent because that’s what we hear.”
Some dads are court mandated to take the program, but most of them join as a result of the organization’s outreach. And in almost a month’s time, they create a bond extending outside of the classroom walls.
“To be able to get things off our chest that you might wanna talk about and don’t know how to talk about, (and) don’t know who to talk to ... It makes you feel warm and welcome when you come amongst your brothers in here. And we can all fellowship and share our thoughts together and no one is judging you,” Moorrman said.
One father brings his children with him to class and visits nearby playground afterward.
“Is it what (I) expected? Yeah, it’s more than what I expected. I enjoy this program. I like it a lot," said BU participant Renaur Lamb.
Files, the director of Family Support Services, noted that the Brothers United is needed in the community because there is a general lack of supportive programs for fathers.
“In fatherhood services, fathers are definitely neglected," Files said. “Definitely not thought about because there’s so much negative stigma around fathers; we just assume that fathers are absent because that’s what we hear.”
But acknowledging the work being done to improve their kids lives gives these fathers new hope.
“Too many dads don’t never get no recognition," Lamb said. "They always give it to the mom, and that’s a good thing that this program gives fathers recognition.”
Now organization leaders say they need the community to spread the word about BU Nation.
You can visit the Brothers United Facebook page HERE for more information or call the nonprofit organization at 419-279-6297.