Project COMPASS helps men become better fathers and husbands

Being a good father, husband, and provider is not easy. For low-income men who need support to sustain a healthy marriage,  learn responsible parenting, and build economic stability, there is a free program in City Heights that they can turn to for help.

SAY San Diego recently started Project COMPASS  – Creating Options for Men to Participate Actively, Safety, and Supportively. The program is geared toward both civilian and military dads who want to be engaged in their children’s lives and strengthen their families.

Participants in Project COMPASS receive individualized support and case management. They attend workshops with peer-to-peer discussions on the importance of fatherhood and raising healthy children, as well as marriage classes on building family relationships through positive communication. Employment services are also offered, including job readiness, placement, retention, and financial management classes.

Project COMPASS offers services in multiple locations in San Diego, including City Heights. Childcare is available at select locations. For more information, call (619) 283-9634 ext. 260. The SAY San Diego office in City Heights is located at 4275 El Cajon Blvd., Suite 101 (in the same building as he Mid-City Family Resource Center).

The program is funded by a $790,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to Congresswoman Susan Davis, who helped SAY San Diego secure the grant, the program will involve fathers in a best-practice model curricula, including “24/7 Dad,” “Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP),” and “Parents as Teachers.”

SAY San Diego, which stands for Social Advocates for Youth, is a San Diego-based nonprofit agency that specializes in providing services for children and families with a special focus on at-risk populations. Founded in 1971, SAY started as a program to help youth navigate the juvenile justice system. Today, its programs range from child abuse prevention to financial literacy education to tax preparation for low-income families.