A new fatherhood support group started in May at the Healing Place, a long-term shelter and recovery program for homeless men with drug and alcohol addictions.

Healing placeStephen Vicoli, transition coordinator for men at the facility, said he first heard of RFFI from Richmond City Health Director Danny Avula, who had toured The Healing Place. RFFI Coordinator Anthony Mingo later got in touch, and came to the facility to gauge interest among its residents.

“We’re always looking for new ways and new partners in connecting fathers in Richmond with their children,” Mr. Mingo said. “This new group is another avenue to help men rebuild that relationship, and impact child well-being.”

The new group follows the model of RFFI’s existing support group at the Rubicon Substance Abuse Treatment Center. It adheres to the RFFI logic model, which includes a 2-week module on trauma and resilience, the National Partnership for Community Leadership’s a 15-session fatherhood development curriculum, and a 2-week co-parenting module. Make-up classes are conducted at the completion of each session. Participants must complete all sessions in order to graduate.

The group, which meets on Wednesday afternoons, started with five men, but is expected to grow.

“Any resource available regarding improving or establishing the ability to be a responsible, effective father is surly needed here,” Mr. Vicoli said. “All of these men have suffered from substance abuse and have limited practice and or skills in that area….It is my hope that the men that take advantage of this group will have a new and healthy experience with their children and their sobriety.”