Majority of children in Richmond born to fatherless homes

RICHMOND, Va – According the Virginia Department of Health, more than 60 percent of children in Richmond are born into a home where their father is not around.

Health officials say this kind of family fragmentation, especially in low income areas in Richmond, ties directly to key social issues that ail the city; like poverty, high school drop out rates, and violence.

Fatherly involvement in a child’s life is one way to curb these trends, experts said.

The Torque Club at RIR was buzzing with robots, computer systems, and even chess pieces Saturday afternoon.  The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) held an event aimed at engaging fathers from low-income areas and their children in “positive, relationship building” through science, math and technology.

CBS 6 reporter Jake Burns and photojournalist Tyler Conta attended the event.  Watch their report above.

Several dozen children and their fathers participated in robotics and computer games, an up close and personal look at race cars, and even remarks from chess legend Eugene Brown, whose work as a chess instructor was chronicled in the movie “Life of a King” starring Cuba Gooding Jr.

Many of the fathers that attended Saturday publicly hoped more men in Richmond would get involved in their children’s life.

“It give kids more of a foundation, so they can understand some of the crazy stuff that’s going on,” said Lawrence Jiggetts, who came with both his daughter and granddaughter.

“We all are going through challenges in life. So as brothers in love, we come to the table to talk about our challenges and what we can do as far as support,” said Calvin Johnson, a Hillside Court resident who runs a men’s group aimed at sparking conversation among fathers in his neighborhood.

19 comments

  • Ron Melancon

    We already know this only the idiots in Washington don’t understand the problem. My mom had the same issue but she had me to help and yes it was I who read books and helped with the homework.
    The problem is moms are overworked work two jobs and then a 3rd unpaid job cooking dinner and doing homework then you expect this overwork human to find time to date and find a soul mate that will never happen because of the baggage. So my mom settled for a deadbeat just to get the help financially . So get the message when you have a father less family the chances of a mom to overcome and achieve for her and her children is very hard and that is the facts. No amount of food stamps or welfare will compensate for a missing dad but yet these people will vote for idiots who think giving money is the answer. No it is not how about giving a father who is made responsible instead of a deadbeat fed who ran from the mother if his children. I can say it because I lived it.

    • Marci LaBrie

      I highly doubt too many of these “moms” are working two and three jobs….If theywere my check wouldn’t be nearly drained of the taxes it is. Somehow it’s become my job to feed and care for these little urchins.

  • Norma Jean

    You are right Ron. The idiots in Washington (err Richmond) should be giving good fathers to the poor mothers without husbands, not money to feed the children. No one said that giving money is THE answer. But it sure helps put food on the table or a roof over head. Apparently you haven’t learned all that you believe you have.

  • Becky

    Government feels it is Government’s job to adopt and raise any and all children, both foreign and domestic, to buy and secure Votes. It’s a Round Robin scam of mutual benefits, entitlements,
    decisive actions, decisions and life style choices, leading to more Government Power. When
    government programs are seen to be failing , just come up with a new Tax Exempt Group.
    They get tax advantages, taxes, and party donors to subsidize, bolster, and pump up the new era Government Way. What happened to the government’s child support system?

    • buzzbye

      Here is the problem with you liberals. You always lie . You hate being stared down at with the facts and the cold hard truth! A man who always tells the truth shall never have a life of feeling guilty about anything he has said or done . Can you honestly say that? Liberal? Joe nailed it and you hate him for it! to bad so sad. Go call 1 800 wha whaa and maybe Obama will pick up and give a crappola

    • NT

      I work in the health field at a major hospital here in Richmond and there are as many whites receiving food stamps & medicaid as blacks. If you need it I agree with getting it but don’t live off of it. It’s plenty of people of all races who live off of the system. Generation after generation. The system needs a cut off period.

      • Joe

        I hear and understand what you’re saying but there are more whites than blacks in the US population. Agreed, there are uneducated slugs in every race but this is the overwhelming norm in the black community. The majority of blacks are living off the teet of society and it has to stop. They understand how the system works and they know how to abuse it. Until radical social welfare reform takes place, the black culture will continue to erode until it implodes. These folks know of no other way to live and believe they are owed housing, free cell phones and utilities, food, healthcare, and spending money.

        Some very tough measure need to be put into place…drug testing, sterilizations, funds reductions and community work camps. Until we get serious about this, the cycle of generational poverty will never end.

  • Joe

    There must be massive changes in our social welfare programs that allow and reward bad behavior. An example would be for any physically fit adult male/female to receive public assistance for more than a year, they must be sterilized. The black community is in a massive downward spiral with no end in sight. Generational poverty is out of control and won’t cease until very difficult decisions are made to stop helping promote this destructive process. Social welfare is the cause of many of the problems we face in the community today. Massive change is required.

  • John

    This was a good event. Any event and/or theme to encourage people to become a loving family with 2 parents in a step in the right direction.
    Perhaps the news outlets and local newspapers could do more uplifting stories about 2 parent homes in these areas. Try to give some rewards to those that are trying to do the right thing. Most of the music and party life scene gets portrayed as the way life should be for many people.

  • Mo Fiscal conservatism

    I see the problem raising a child with a “Man of the house”. But in many of these cases they are due to sexual promiscuity and bad decisions. I highly doubt many of these women are working 2 to 3 jobs either to support them. They are just sitting back and collecting what we give them. Maybe with a part time job they can complain about.

  • Steel Mill

    Why do these men not become involved with their children? Marriage is not an issue, but they could live as a couple and be involved with the children.
    Why do the women become pregnant in the first place? What is the value for them? Coming perhaps also from a fatherless home.
    Seems breaking this cycle is more complex than cancelling the checks.

    • Ron Melancon

      Why do these fathers not want to be responsible? All they want is more action that’s the truth. They have no interest in being a dad all they want to do is add another notch on the bed post and abuse other women into believing that they are the special one. That is the fact

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