“This year, we don’t want to just recognize the dads in the housing authority community,” said Aaron Robinson, PHA director of social services. “There are a lot of great dads throughout the whole community and they should be recognized too.”
On June 14, the PHA will host its annual Fatherhood Initiative celebration and walk. Last year the PHA honored one of its residents, Charles Cue, who is a father of 10 children. Cue is a Palatka native and a single dad raising his youngest four children.
“A lot of times, people associate public housing with deadbeat dads and that is not the case,” Robinson said before last year’s celebration.
While the PHA will recognize its own residents, Robinson said he’d like to see more community-wide organizations get involved this year. He said he would like recognizing fathers nominated by local schools, places of worship and service-oriented organizations as well.
“They don’t necessarily have to be the biological father, either,” he said. “We would like to hear from anyone who has a particular dad or father-figure who should be recognized.”
Robinson and Trista Mack, PHA executive assistant, took their outreach to the Heart of Putnam Coalition meeting on Thursday. Representatives from the Palatka Christian Service Center, Putnam County School District, TD Bank, Healthy Start, Haven Hospice, Putnam Coalition for Care, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the Social Security Administration were present.
“Try to get the word out,” Mack said.
The event on June 14 would include a march around the neighborhood surrounding the James A. Long Family Center. A celebration would be held at the center following the walk, including a guest speaker and information for fathers.
Robinson said the celebration would be like a festival for fathers and their families. The PHA encourages local organizations to attend the celebration, providing information about each organization’s services.
“Many of these men don’t know there are resources out there,” Mack said.
Nomination forms for fathers who should be recognized are online at palatkaha.org. For more information about becoming involved, call the PHA at