DePelchin fatherhood programs bring men together


On a muggy early-summer evening in Iowa Colony south of Houston, 15 men sat around the Chophouse Barber Company and shared what they had learned the past few months.


This particular evening, the group of men were attending their graduation from one of DePelchin’s fatherhood programs. Every Tuesday night since mid-March, the group had gathered at the barber shop, and this was its last meeting. Some of the men have toddlers, some have adult children, and some have no children at all. As they gathered around the barbershop this night, they shared a sense of gratitude for a welcoming group of peers gathering each week to talk about the responsibilities, challenges, and joys of consistently engaging in their children’s and stepchildren’s lives.


Some talked about the importance of tuning out distractions during play time and some talked about the need for consistent and open communication, while others talked about lessons learned from their own fathers. “This group really helped me connect the dots,” one participant said.


Usually, DePelchin offers classes for fathers at its main campus on Memorial Drive or in community centers, but this was the first time it had been offered in a business. Over several weeks, Joshua Williams, Program Coordinator of one of DePelchin’s fatherhood programs, had led the group through candid conversations about ways to connect with children, about co-parenting, and about the value of learning from each other.


“I like to open my doors to the community, whatever needs to be done,” said JP Faust, one of the founders of Chophouse Barber Company. “I think it is excellent for all these men to come together and it has been a great outcome.”


The group surprised Mr. Faust by contributing money they had collected among themselves to help with the cost of making his barbershop available for the weekly evening gatherings. He was so moved by the gesture that he went around the room and personally thanked each participant. In addition, A Bold Story Never Ends, a nonprofit organization that seeks to bring awareness to mental health issues and to support those impacted by them, provided refreshments for the group.


While the DePelchin fatherhood program at the Chophouse wrapped up that night, the men participating pledged to keep getting together and learning from one another.


“I hope you got as much from me as I got from you,” one shared.


DePelchin offers groups for fathers and other free parenting programs throughout the year, in-person and online. To learn more about DePelchin’s fatherhood programs, please click here.

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