Taking Care of Business
F.A.R.M. Family Assistance for Renaissance Men held an “Eat for the Cause” fundraiser and awareness event at Panera Bread restaurant in Southfield, MI on Friday, April 22, 2016. Founded by Willie Bell, this Detroit-based organization helps absentee fathers build and/or rebuild vital relationships with their children. It is a service he says supports the man as a whole both naturally and spiritually.
The men who participate in the program have access to several services like; accountability counseling, education and skilled trades training and most importantly, assistance in navigating legal procedures to get them back in good standing with any outstanding child-support arrearages.
Child-support issues have become increasingly important in recent years, driven by dramatic changes in American family life, particularly with regard to children who are born out wedlock or whose parents divorce. In 1960 about 4 percent of all U.S. children were born out of wedlock; the figure is closer to 33 percent today. Children who live only with their mother are seven times more likely to live in poverty than are children living in a two-parent household. According to the Michigan Child Support Recovery Service, there is a total of over eight billion dollars owed in child support arrearages in Michigan.
Men who find they owe back child-support could face several enforcing obstacles including but limited to income withholding, suspended driver’s license, credit reporting, and even criminal felony charges. These law enforced barriers often times sends a man running not only from the law but from his responsibilities; his children.
FARM’s “Eat for the Cause” event was not only designed to raise money for the organization, it also allowed the founder Willie Bell and other board members to interact with the public, making them aware that his vital service is available in their community.