December 17, 2021
Father Focus Story: Joseph Stokes, Midlands Fatherhood Coalition
Joseph Stokes, a single father in the midlands, almost lost it all before coming through the doors at Midlands Fatherhood Coalition (MFC). Between raising a seven-year-old boy, working hard and barely paying his bills, and struggling to maintain custody of his son, Joseph needed help to provide the best life possible for his little boy. The opportunity to change his and his son’s life came on January 28, 2020, when he officially enrolled at Midlands Fatherhood Coalition.
Joseph was having a hard time making ends meet, and it all came to a head when his son, Davian, was removed from his home by DSS. On his own, he contacted DSS day after day to check on his son and to do what he could to get him back home. DSS personnel referred Joseph to the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition in Lexington.
“When I first came to Midlands, I asked myself. ‘Why did I come to this place?’,” Joseph explained. “A part of me left and wanted to give up. I prayed about it and I decided to try it out.” He was frustrated with the system and while he initially wondered how Midlands Fatherhood could help him, everything changed when he met Maurice Lindsay, an intervention specialist at MFC.
Maurice helped him from the first day he walked into the office. Joseph said, “Maurice made me feel welcomed and motivated me to go hard. He was more of a father figure to me as well as a brother and showed his determination to find resources to help me.” Over the next few months, Joseph stayed determined to get his son back and to set himself up for success through participation in the fatherhood program. He was in constant contact with Maurice and the rest of the Midlands Fatherhood staff throughout his whole ordeal and kept them informed on all his court dates, visitations, and progress.
The worst of his struggles was overcome on March 31, 2021, when his son Davian was finally home. After completing the programs and sessions at the Midlands fatherhood Coalition and meeting all DSS requirements, he was able to regain custody of his son. Joseph’s bravery and consistency set him on a great path to accomplish his overall goal: to live a good life with his son.
Joseph still maintains a great friendship with Maurice and frequently communicates his progress as a father. He sees his time with Midlands Fatherhood Coalition as invaluable and has said, “I referred everyone at my job to Midlands because they truly helped me. Fatherhood is great! Midlands opened my eyes to see the value of family and my son. Without them, I don’t think I could have made it.”