August 19, 2021

Father Focus: James Simmons/Upstate Fatherhood Coalition

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James Simmons’ success story begins on March 22, 2021, when he entered the Upstate Fatherhood Coalition program. James came to UFC voluntarily seeking help with becoming a better father and obtaining employment. Upon James’s enrollment, he shared that he and the mother of his child used to be best friends and they talked every day. But their relationship became stressed when she began seeing someone else. Soon she had a child with her new love interest and the new family, including James' daughter, moved to North Carolina. James was deeply hurt by the situation.

At enrollment, James shared that he really didn’t care to co-parent with the mother of his child. To him, she did not exist. James also needed employment to pay child support for a daughter he could no longer see.

Simmons came to UFC in an attempt to get his life back on track. With guidance from the staff, enrolled in Job Boot Camp. After completing the course, he applied for scholarship funds to attend Tri-County Tech’s Manufacturing Skills Certification Training. James attended the six-week training and earned a Certificate of Completion on June 9. He interviewed with a company during and after completion of the training and landed a job as a Forklift Driver with Commerce Warehouse. (in Greenville?) The new job has allowed Simmons to consistently pay his child support. With a new outlook, Simmons has started mending the relationship with the mother of his child. He now communicates with her via text and phone conversations without holding any resentment towards her. He sees his daughter every other weekend and even takes her shopping. James credits the conversations he has had with his Intervention Specialist about letting go of the hurt and focusing on the needs of his daughter. Simmons used the group sessions as motivation and the therapy he needed to leave the past and focus on what was most important – building a meaningful relationship with his daughter.