NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Often times social services that are set up for families address the needs of young mothers.

And while these services fill a great need, fathers are left without these benefits.

The group Crescent City Dads are set up to address their needs.

Kevin Sherman is the Coordinator and Facilitator for the Fatherhood Program Healthy Start New Orleans and he says, “I understood what it was like not having a father. Not having a father in my life, I looked to the streets for that father figure. And in looking for that father figure piece, I wound up going to prison at an early age and spending 30 years of my life in prison.”

The goal of which is to help men to be better fathers, and understand their role.

“To get men together to talk about these issues and see how can we close that gap
and have a voice for fathers in this City of New Orleans to be heard. To have the resources and the same help that you extend to mothers to fathers,” said Sherman.

During the pandemic, the fatherhood program continued through virtual weekly classes and now hopes to resume its work in person. Kendrick Irons completed the program and spoke to the how it helped him become a better father.

Kendrick Irons is a program participant and he stated, “It made me pay attention to what value I held to my kids. How valuable I was to my kids. Growing up as a young man you don’t know how valuable a father is in the household until you become a father in a household.”

The fatherhood program offers support in the form of diapers and other things needed for the kids, hoping to alleviate the burdens of fatherhood, News headlines are chocked full of young people committing crimes in our city. Many from homes the program aims to address.

According to Sherman, focusing resources on the men in the community will bear fruit in helping curtail these crimes, “The solution is in these young men. And we’re not really going to them and talking to them and understanding that there’s no father at home so the investment is in the fathers.”

For information on the Crescent City Dads fatherhood program call 504-658-2600 or click here for online info.