The Salvation Army Bethany Hope Centre believes young fathers are an important part of their children’s lives and an important part of their overall well-being.
That’s why most of their program and services welcome dads to participate and the centre also has dad specific programs.
Young fathers, like 24-year-old Chris who has two young boys age 3 and 6, can feel welcome at Bethany Hope Centre.
Chris started coming to the centre in 2011 and participated in some of the programs.
Years later he returned, and with the support of staff at The Bethany Hope Centre, Chris has full time care of his boys and is now involved in a number of programs including “Dads Matter”.
“It’s a really good program. There are other guys my age who have kids. We meet and discuss different topics such as health and safety and healthy eating for your child,” said Chris. “There is another dad from the group that I have made friends with, and we organize play dates with our kids.”
Chris has also participated in parenting classes including “Building Blocks” and “Circle of Security” where he is learning how to connect with his children, form attachments and guide his children to find healthy ways to deal with their emotions.
“It’s been really helpful,” said Chris. “I’m also planning to sign up at Bethany’s Learning Coach program to finish high school and then I hope to go on to college.”
“The Bethany Hope Centre has really helped me change my life. I have also met good friends and it helps avoid being so isolated at home,” said Chris. “Your kids make friends too and my youngest gets so excited when we get off the bus to get here.”
Chris is looking toward a positive future for him and his children.
“I want my kids to one day have good jobs and live in a better neighbourhood than we do now. I want them to be happy and have a good life.”
Right now Chris is happy watching his children grow in a positive way.
“I’m happy when I see my oldest son learning something new and how proud he is when he shows me, or when my youngest one does something really cute,” he said.