The Northwest Georgia Housing Authority will host a special Father’s Day event at the new gymnasium behind the Village at Willingham town homes at 560 N. Division St. The program is slated to begin at 1 p.m. and end at 4 p.m.
The event is an outgrowth of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s National Responsible Fatherhood Initiative. While the program is designed for residents of the public housing communities in Rome, it is open to anyone.
Chick-fil-A will be providing food, a splash pad will be available for both adults and children, and there will be an inflatable water slide, face painting, crafts and a variety of other activities and prizes designed to allow kids to have a special day with their fathers.
The is no charge to attend the event.
Molly Majestic, resident services coordinator for the housing authority, said she has made a special effort to reach out to Charles Smith’s Fatherhood program administered by the Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth to have as many dads participate in the event as possible.
Smith said a lot of the young fathers enrolled in his program were not raised in an environment where they had a father figure their life.
“They don’t understand the importance in the development of a child if a dad is involved,” Smith said. “There is something inside of them that you can see they know it’s not right and they want to do better but they don’t know how to go about it.”
Smith said many young fathers don’t understand the importance of going to the school and eating lunch with their child or playing ball in the back yard.
“They tend to think it’s all about money,” Smith said. “They don’t understand core values of being a father.”
Majestic estimated that way more than 50 percent of the children who reside in public housing in Rome do not have a father figure in the home. “We’ve had lots of moms call and say, ‘I’m the mom and the dad, can I come?’” Majestic said.
Meanwhile, three Chambers Street families are hosting a free Father’s Day block party today.
Organizers said they fed more than 300 people last year, despite a rain shower.
Based on the success of the first event last year, city officials readily approved the temporary closing of Chambers Street. The event will run from 4 to 9 p.m.
Click here to see a Google map of the location on Division Street
Click here to see a Google map of the location on Chambers Street