On Saturday, June 16, local housing authorities are hoping to reconnect fathers with their children. The Clearwater Housing Authority (CHA), the Dunedin Housing Authority (DHA), and the St. Petersburg Housing Authority (SPHA) are hosting Father’s Day 2012, a free event to celebrate families and to encourage responsible fatherhood among the housing authorities’ low-income residents. All tenants in CHA, DHA, and SPHA’s housing programs, including Public Housing and the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, are invited to attend Father’s Day 2012, which will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at SPHA’s central office (2001 Gandy Boulevard North) in St. Petersburg. This event is not open to the general public.
Father's Day 2012 is part of a national U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) initiative. Modeled after a successful event organized by the New York City Housing Authority in 2010, HUD’s goal is for housing authorities nationwide to provide venues for fathers to interact with their children and to introduce them to local programs and services.
This focus on fatherhood in subsidized housing flows from current statistics that show fathers are absent. Nationally, the majority of public housing households with children are headed by single women who earn less than $9,000 a year. Most fathers are not officially on the household’s lease and are often disconnected from services that could lead to economic stability for themselves and their children.
Together, CHA, DHA, and SPHA are working to change that. To encourage involvement in Father's Day 2012, the housing authorities are planning a variety of fun and family-friendly activities for residents of all ages, such as a bounce house, carnival games, a balloon twister, face painting, a professional DJ, performances by the Royal Theatre Boys & Girls Club Arts Academy, arts and crafts, and much more. Each housing authority tenant attending the event will receive a free raffle ticket for amazing prizes, including books signed by former Buccaneers Head Coach Tony Dungy and tickets to see Winter the Dolphin at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Complimentary refreshments, donated by local restaurants and stores, will also be available for residents.
But, Father's Day 2012 offers more than fun. A host of community organizations will have booths at the event with important resources for fathers and their families. The goal of these booths, which will include information on education, job training, and health, is to provide residents, especially fathers, with the help they need to create healthy families and to achieve a more stable future. In addition to the booths, a fire truck from the St. Petersburg Fire Department will be available for tours.
Partners in the CHA/DHA/SPHA Father’s Day event are, as follows:
- A Quantum Leap Educational Services, LLC
- All Pro Dad
- Balloon Artist Rick Weil
- Bay Area Legal Services
- Bay Bounce
- BJ’s Restaurant
- Boys and Girls Club
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium
- Clothes to Kids
- Community Service Foundation
- Cross Bayou Elementary School
- Educate Today
- Frida's Bakery
- Girl Scouts of West Central FL
- Grahams Café
- Improve Comedy Club
- Marble Slab Ice Creamery
- Metro Wellness & Community Centers
- Mystical Moments Entertainment
- Neighborhood Home Solutions
- Olive Garden Restaurants
- Pinellas County Health and Human Services
- Pinellas County Job Corps
- Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
- Planet Smoothie
- Publix Supermarkets
- Regal Theaters
- Royal Theatre Boys & Girls Club Arts Academy
- St. Anthony's Hospital
- St. Petersburg Fire Department
- Step Up for Kids
- Super Walmart – US 19
- Sweetbay Supermarket – Fourth Street
- Tampa Bay CDC
- Target – Gateway
- Text for Baby
- Tomlinson Adult Learning Center
- WorkNet Pinellas
More information about the national Father’s Day initiative can be found online at www.hud.gov/fathersday2012.
About Dunedin Housing Authority (DHA):
DHA was created in 1966 to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for low-income residents in the City of Dunedin. A governing body of commissioners, made up of five volunteers who are appointed by the Mayor of Dunedin and confirmed by the City Commission, develops the policies and goals of the housing authority. DHA’s income is derived from tenant rents, federal subsidies, grants, and investments. DHA does not receive operating income from the City of Dunedin, Pinellas County, or the State of Florida. DHA is an Equal Opportunity Housing Provider. For more information about DHA, please visit the agency’s web page at www.stpeteha.org/DHA.htm.
About Clearwater Housing Authority (CHA):
The mission of CHA is to create housing opportunities to enhance the lives of the people it serves. For more than a decade, CHA has expanded its portfolio of properties to increase and preserve the affordable housing stock within the City of Clearwater. Currently, 78 percent of its properties are private investor funded. CHA is proud of its ability to provide rental housing opportunities while lessening its dependency on federal dollars. More information about CHA’s programs and services can be found at www.clearwaterhousingauth.org.
About St. Petersburg Housing Authority (SPHA):
Founded in 1937, SPHA is one of the oldest housing authorities in the nation and is continually rated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a “High Performing” agency. Currently, SPHA provides housing assistance to qualifying low-income families within its service area, which includes the City of St. Petersburg and extends in a 10-mile radius outside of city limits. More information about SPHA’s programs and services can be found at www.stpeteha.org.