Upstate Fatherhood Coalition supports single fathers - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate Fatherhood Coalition supports single fathers

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Upstate Fatherhood Coalition supports single dads. (FOX Carolina/ April 13, 2017) Upstate Fatherhood Coalition supports single dads. (FOX Carolina/ April 13, 2017)

The lanes at AMF Star Lanes Bowling Alley in Greenville County are lined with beginners looking for a strike.

On Thursday, George Turner bowled his ball and picked up some pins.

"I'm just living my life a little bit better," Turner said.

He's one of several fathers spending time with their children at the bowling alley.

"I've got a better relationship with my kids now," Turner said.

He's a father of three and a graduate of the Upstate Fatherhood Coalition Program.

"I came in kicking and screaming - didn't say anything for the first month or two," he said.

He was referred to the program when he got behind on child support.

"In the eyes of a judge I"m a deadbeat dad," Turner said.

He said that's not the case,however, and he just needed support.

"I have the Fatherhood (Coalition) and I approach the same situation differently," Turner said.

The Upstate Fatherhood Coalition helps fathers focus on co-parenting, healthy relationships, career readiness, child support, legal visitation and economic stability.

"The different relationship programs that I went through gave me a different perspective," Turner said.

Kelly Walker is the executive director of the coalition.

"We're failing our kids by not supporting this fatherhood movement," Walker said.

He says statistics show children need fathers or positive male guardians in their homes.

"Seventy-one percent of all high school drop outs are from fatherless homes," Walker said.

Since 2002, the program has helped nearly 4,000 men in the Upstate become responsible fathers.

"I do it because I want not only my kids to be successful, but I want our community to be strong again," Walker said.

Turner and other fathers believe they're striking out stereotypes as single dads.

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