[Hpn] More Dads With Kids at Homeless Shelters

Harmony Foster Kieding fosterharmony@savethisplanet.com
Sun, 05 Nov 2000 12:44:17 -0800

Ok, I don't quite know how to do this, so please pardon any bungles. Sandy had
mentioned not wanting any large webpages forwarded, so I am just putting in
a small portion of the article, and including the URL to it. (Harmony)

More Dads With Kids at Homeless Shelters 
By Adelle M. Banks 
 MODESTO, Calif. -- A month ahead of time, Armando Niebla already knew how he'd
like to celebrate Father's Day. 

"All I wish is to have just a little apartment for me and my kids," said Niebla.
"I don't care about a present, car or anything. ... Just to have a home, just
our own home." 

Niebla, 23, has lived in this small city at California's center for seven years,
but he recently became one of the first to stay in the new facility for homeless
single dads at Modesto Union Gospel Mission. On the bunk below him slept his
2-year-old daughter, Elizabeth Roberts, and in a nearby crib, 1-year-old Daniel

A decade and a half after opening a shelter for women and children, mission
officials saw a crying need for a place that men and their kids could call their
temporary home. 

"The need is there," said Barbara Deatherage, administrator of the mission that
covers two city blocks not far from downtown, across the street from a check-cashing
store and next door to a doughnut shop. 

"I expect this trend to grow because the traditional family no longer exists.
The stay-at-home mom and the dad who goes to work ... they are the minority
and as regular society goes, so go the homeless." 

Officials at the International Union of Gospel Missions, with which the Modesto
mission is affiliated, and the Salvation Army attest to the increasing number
of men showing up at their doors with children in tow. They say some shelters
have transformed their spaces from solely traditional single-sex dormitories
to include separate floors or apartments for the latest additions to the homeless

(article truncated by me; rest can be found on this URL:)

Religious News Service: Features 2000 Archive


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