‘He Didn’t Judge Me’: Mentor Guides Troubled Fathers To Be Better Parents, Find Stability

Reggie Moss helps fathers who are in trouble with the law stay connected to their kids.

By Bill ZeebleAugust 23, 2017 11:16 am, , ,

From KERA:

Reggie Moss is a mentor to men of all ages, but mostly, to fathers struggling to raise their kids. He works at a faith-based nonprofit in Fort Worth with a mission to make better dads.

‘I can either go this way or that’

Eric Gregory sits with his eight-year-old son, Destin, and talks with his mentor, Reggie Moss. Gregory meets with Moss about once a week. They talk on the phone on a regular basis and have been meeting for about three years.

Gregory remembers the first time he called Moss. He was under a lot of pressure, facing a court date over missed child support payments and a possible drug charge.

“I’m sitting here thinking by myself in this parking lot, ‘I can either go this way right now or that way. Go ahead and just try to make a bunch of money, just so I could have some money for my son because I might have to go to jail.’ And then, I had Mr. Reggie’s number.”

Gregory has already served several stints behind bars — for robbery and drugs. Raised without a father himself, Gregory didn’t want to do the same to Destin. Gregory thinks of Moss as his lifeline.

“He listened to me and offered his advice and wisdom. [He] didn’t judge me at all, Gregory says. “And that’s the one thing I remember, that’s the one thing that’ll give me goosebumps — that he didn’t judge me.”

Moss says most of the fathers they work with at NewDay Services in Fort Worth didn’t have their own fathers in their lives growing up.

“You’d be surprised how many dads we’ve got [whose] Grandma raised them,” he says.

Seeking change, needing direction

Moss helps fathers — most of them in trouble — navigate the legal system, the workplace and parenthood. He’s been mentoring men like Gregory for years.

“I like helping people. It’s a passion for me,” he says. “When we first meet, I’m listening to you. Because the idea is: ‘This is your life.’ Where are we going?’ We talk about ‘How did we get here?’ and ‘Where are we trying to go?’”

It sounds so reasonable. For men from dysfunctional homes with addictions or criminal records, or who are estranged from their kids, Moss says logic can get lost.

“You’re wanting to change; you don’t know how. You’re trying to come up with a plan; you don’t know how. And you sit down and start talking about it, things start clearing up and getting in order for you,” Moss says. “We’ve got an actual action plan that they write out. So let’s take a look at what you’re doing. Let’s take a look at it step by step and stay focused on where you’re trying to go.”

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