Fransico Romero, a father at Rainbow Village in Largo, gets information from Rose Mackey with St. Pete College's Career Development Center June 14 during the Father’s Focused on Family event.
LARGO – Pinellas County Housing Authority hosted its second annual Father’s Focused on Family event Thursday, June 14, at Rainbow Village, the agency’s largest public housing community.
According to PCHA Executive Director Debra Johnson, more than 350 children live in the Largo facility.
HUD’s Father’s Day Initiative was developed in response to the stark socio-economic data showng how children and youth are being negatively affected by father-absent homes.
“There has never been a time of greater need to bring families, particularly fathers and their children, together” Johnson said.
Steven Beal, CEO of Steven Todd Financial, gave words of encouragement and motivation to all fathers attending the event.
“We need families to raise our children. We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child – it’s the courage to raise one,” Beal said. “It’s up to us – as fathers and parents – to instill an ethic of excellence in our children. It’s up to us to say to our daughters, don’t ever let images on TV tell you what you are worth, because I expect you to dream without limit and reach for the sky. It’s up to us to tell our sons, those songs on the radio may glorify violence, but in my house we give glory to achievement, self-respect and hard work. It’s up to us to set these high expectations. And that means meeting those expectations ourselves. That means setting examples of excellence in our own lives.”
The Fathers Focused on Family event provided fun activities to support the bonding of fathers and their children while connecting fathers to economic development resources.
The event included service providers and partner organizations in the health and wellness, education and training, and family services areas, as well as information about career development and employment.
Free haircuts, clothing, food baskets and health screenings complimented the free food, games, and raffle prizes at the event.
“We are very thankful to all of our community partners. Without their commitment and support this special event would not have been possible” said Regina Booker, PCHA’s director of resident services and programs.