CONWAY — The Housing Authority of Conway hosted a Father's Day event Saturday to encourage fathers to reconnect with their children, and to seek assistance to combat any barriers hampering that bond.
Montele Burton, resident service coordinator for the housing authority, said the three main barriers they see is incarceration, unemployment and unsuccessful relationships.
"A lot of fathers allow unsuccessful relationships with mothers to separate them from their children," Burton said.
Mark Cooper, with the state's Department of Employment and Workforce, said the agency offers fathers assistance with resumes and how to handle interviews.
The office also partners with employers who assist with on-the-job training.
Cooper said another barrier is simply being a single father and the pressure that comes with juggling a full-time job while finding daycare and proper schools for their children.
"I was a single father trying to juggle all that myself. It's not easy," Cooper said.
Saturday's event was an initiative started by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to increase connections between fathers and their children in public housing.
HUD encouraged public housing agencies across the country to host a Father's Day event this year.
Burton said out of 4,000 housing authorities nationwide, 200 participated. Conway was one of the few in S.C. to host an event.
In addition to the various organizations that were present, which also included Coastal Academy, A Father's Place and S.C. Vocational Rehab, there were plenty of activities for the kids.
Face painting, balloons and inflatables were the entertainment for the day, followed by a pizza lunch.
"I do believe this is the start of something great," Burton said.
Contact BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301.