Happy Father’s Day!

lydell - Copy

The staff, volunteers, and residents of CCO would like to wish you a very Happy Father’s Day! CCO is proud to welcome homeless father’s with children. Fathers often find it difficult to access shelter space because many shelters are designed for single adults, or women with children. It has been our privilege to assist dads with kids as they stabilize their families and work toward permanent housing.

Take a moment to visit Our Stories and scroll down to choose a success story featuring a father who has secured permanent housing for himself and his children. Pictured above is Lydell, a friend and former CCO resident, who worked against the odds to make a home for himself and Little Lydell (also pictured). Take a minute to read their story.

Happy Father’s Day! We hope you have a great weekend!

One Father’s Struggle…

Lydell & Lydell III

“11:05am, December 4, 2002, he was born. Lydell Doss, III, arrived breach with his brown eyes wide open. It was beautiful to see his first movements and to hear his new born cries. One day later I would be crying in disbelief…”

Take a moment and read Lydell’s story, “I Decided to Stay.” It is a moving account of a father’s love for his son and his struggle to create a home for him.

Click here to read Lydell’s story or to choose from other CCO success stories click here.

Help CCO continue to serve and shelter families and individuals in need. Click here to donate today. Thank you!


I Decided To Stay

“When I got to the courthouse my lawyer informed me that the sheriff was coming and I was going to be arrested. They wanted to know if I was going to stay or run.

I decided to stay.”

LydellThe number of homeless fathers with children is increasing. It is our privilege to welcome dads with kids into CCO and help them achieve the success for themselves and their families. Take a few moments and read Lydell’s story here. Or take a look at the other success stories available in Our Story section on the right.

The changed lives you will read about would not be possible without your support. Thank you for donating today!

One CCO Father’s Story…

Many fathers find it difficult to secure shelter when they need it most. We are grateful for the opportunity to know and serve dads who wish to stabilize their families and create a better future for their children.

The staff and residents of Cornerstone Community Outreach (CCO) would like to wish you a happy Father’s Day! CCO continues to welcome homeless fathers with children into our family shelter program. Happy Father’s Day!

If you would like to partner with CCO in providing shelter and services to homeless fathers, mothers, children and single people. Click on the green Donate Now button below.

Take a few minutes to read one father’s story.

Nathan needed…

A Place to Begin

“I always wanted my boys. Nathan, Jr., and Isaiah needing me caused me to change my life.” Nathan spoke openly to me about his ordeal to gain custody of his two sons, his efforts to bring them to a safe place, and how that path led them to Cornerstone Community Outreach (CCO).

Not so long ago Nathan was living in a small apartment with a roommate. He received a call from a family member telling him he needed to come and get his boys. They had been living with their mother and their situation with her had rapidly deteriorated. He was told if he didn’t come immediately and take them they would go into protective custody. He felt that this was an opportunity to be a full-time father to his children. He went to get them.

“When I got to the apartment my kids were wild, they looked wild. I knew if I was going to take care of them that my life would change. I was happy, nervous, and scared. I knew I wanted them.”

“They were as excited as I was. Hearing them call me Dad really made me step up to the plate. That was my title, “Dad.” Everyone wants a title, it makes you who you are. I wanted to be their dad and that’s who I am. It’s not glamorous. You have to make sacrifices with a title like that. You have to earn it.”

“I didn’t meet my own father until I was 16. I was star-struck but he wasn’t really a dad. He was someone I wanted to see but not someone I wanted to be.”

Nathan and his sons stayed with his roommate for a while and then they found themselves homeless. He needed a place to get on his feet, not only for himself but for his sons, as well. Fathers find it particularly difficult to get shelter for themselves and their children. Most shelters are designed for single adults or women with children. But there’s a growing need for dads to find a place to be the fathers they want to be.

“I had never been homeless before. I went to the Department of Human Services office and told them that I wanted to raise my boys and we needed shelter. They said, “Have you ever been to Cornerstone?” I was skeptical at first. My boys had lived in some rough places with their mother but they had never been in a shelter. I was surprised, it’s a nice environment. Of course it has its challenges, living so closely with other families. CCO is close to the lake and sometimes we go for a walk on the beach at Lake Michigan. We can be together and watch the dogs run and play. We can just enjoy being a family.”

Since moving into the shelter, Nathan has gotten full-time employment at Argo Tea, an upscale urban café. One of Nathan’s tasks at work is to unload large amounts of tea. He explained that if the packages aren’t shipped to them on a pallet the containers could shift and get damaged. While doing this job Nathan had a realization that just as the tea needs a pallet, “in life you have to have a base. You have to have a starting point, a place to begin.”

We are glad Nathan turned to Cornerstone as “a place to begin.” He continues to focus on being a father while working full-time as he searches for permanent housing. We look forward to seeing him further stabilize his family while continuing to pursue his goals.

Over the last few years we have seen an increase in fathers with children seeking shelter. We applaud the men who choose to raise their children even under the most difficult circumstances. CCO considers it a privilege to continue serving and welcoming this under served population.

-Nathan as told to Beth Nicholls

Doing the Right Thing as a Father…

Antwon and Daughter

“There’s so much negative imagery of black fatherhood.

I’ve got tons of friends that are doing the right thing by their kids, and doing the right thing as a father –

and how come that’s not as newsworthy?”

-Will Smith

Many fathers are sheltered at CCO and given the opportunity to stabilize their families. We count it a privilege to serve dads who want to care for their children and it’s been a joy to see so many housed and employed over the years. Our posts for the remainder of the week will be about our CCO dad’s. We hope you enjoy it!