Newark Opens Fathers’ Center

City Hall: Mayor Booker Opens Newark Comprehensive Center for Fathers

“We are now providing the tools that our fathers need to succeed – as men, as fathers, as workers, as neighbors, and as residents of Newark,” Mayor Booker said. “These programs have been tested and are successful in other cities. But they can only succeed in Newark if Newark’s fathers match the effort that we are making in this center. Society can no longer afford to turn its back on men who want to better their lives from a difficult situation.

“We have interwoven destinies. We’re interconnected. We’re interdependent. If we just turn our back on our brothers, we’re not just hurting that person, we’re hurting ourselves. I am reaching out to and challenging all the fathers in Newark who need help, are at risk, or feel they cannot cope. Reach out to us. Come to our center, talk to our staff, help us assess your needs and issues, join a program, and follow through.

“The effort you put in here will be more than paid back in the successful and productive lives that you and your children are able to lead.”

Glad to see this attention being paid to this particular family need in the city — if Newark is going to be successful, we need to see stronger, more cohesive families, and that means keeping fathers employed and giving them support. The full press release is below.

Mayor Booker Opens Newark Comprehensive Center for Fathers

MAYOR BOOKER OPENS NEWARK COMPREHENSIVE CENTER FOR FATHERS;

FACILITY WILL PROVIDE SUPPORT AND RESOURCES FOR CITY’S DADS

Partnership with Newark Now and other agencies operating at Essex County College

Newark, NJ – April 9, 2008 – Mayor Cory A. Booker launched a bold new program to assist Newark fathers today, opening the Newark Comprehensive Center for Fathers (NCCF) at Essex County College, at an afternoon ceremony.

The facility, administered by the non-profit Newark Now in partnership with the City of Newark, NewarkWorks, the New Jersey Department of Labor, New Jersey Legal Services, and the ReLese Network, is designed to provide an array of services to fathers in transition – men who have lost their jobs or homes, or who are re-entering the workforce following incarceration and who seek to assume greater responsibility for and contribute to the lives of their children.

“We are now providing the tools that our fathers need to succeed – as men, as fathers, as workers, as neighbors, and as residents of Newark,” Mayor Booker said. “These programs have been tested and are successful in other cities. But they can only succeed in Newark if Newark’s fathers match the effort that we are making in this center. Society can no longer afford to turn its back on men who want to better their lives from a difficult situation. We have interwoven destinies. We’re interconnected. We’re interdependent. If we just turn our back on our brothers, we’re not just hurting that person, we’re hurting ourselves. I am reaching out to and challenging all the fathers in Newark who need help, are at risk, or feel they cannot cope. Reach out to us. Come to our center, talk to our staff, help us assess your needs and issues, join a program, and follow through. The effort you put in here will be more than paid back in the successful and productive lives that you and your children are able to lead.”

Using a holistic approach, Newark’s site will offer fathers mentoring, parenting, and life skills classes, legal assistance, help to improve math and reading skills, individual counseling, support groups, Father/Child activities, and employment search and interview preparation services. Lavar Young is the Executive Director of the NCCF.

The NCCF program is based on Philadelphia’s nationally-recognized National Comprehensive Center for Fathers. At the opening today, Angela Williams, the National Comprehensive Center’s Chief Operating Officer, represented the Philadelphia center at today’s ceremony.

“Newark Now was started to empower residents with resources to transform their communities through neighborhood-based associations and tenant organizations. This center is just part of our mission to build strong communities by building strong families,” said Modia Butler, Executive Director of Newark NOW.

“Newark Now is looking to improve the lives of city men with its Newark Comprehensive Center for Fathers, said LaVar Young, director of the center. The center is patterned after the National Comprehensive Center for Fathers in Philadelphia and will serve fathers who have lost their jobs, who are re-entering the workforce from incarceration and who want a greater role in the lives of their children,” said center Director Young.

The center’s hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. To contact the Center and learn more about its programs, call (973) 733-3460 ext. 432.

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Newarker, PCA Elder, Business Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

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