Hello UYWI Family,

Thank you for your ongoing friendship with UYWI. As I reflected on family this past Easter, I came across an article on “Television & Family” that touched on the “typical” portrayal of a family on television and the noticeable shifts in racial diversity over the past decade. This depiction of family is a significantly different reality for the urban youth we serve. T.V. families usually include a mother, father and several siblings with storylines that emphasize ways to resolve conflicts and maintain positive emotional ties. But what’s the real family picture for urban youth? Is the father even in the picture?

Nationally 60% of all children growing up in the city are growing up in female heads of household with no father present. This number rises in some cities to as high as 77% [National Fatherhood Initiative]. In 2010 the Census data showed that grandparents are currently raising nearly 3 million children in America. Over 30% of the families in the US today are raising a child that belongs to another parent. Staggering facts to comprehend. Statistically, a child in a single-parent household is far more likely to experience violence, continue a cycle of poverty, become drug dependent, commit a crime or perform below his peers in education. There is also a sad correlation between fatherlessness, suicide and homelessness:

– 63% of suicides committed by a youth are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Census Bureau)

– 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes

The statistics are heartbreaking and hard to turn away from and yet it happens every day. Our communities are filled with hurting fatherless youth which can be difficult to address without the biblical proper tools. UYWI invests in frontline urban leaders who stand in the gap for youth being raised in a fatherless culture. Psalm 65:8 makes it known that God is “a father to the fatherless and a defender of widows…” We as servants of Christ are called to help bridge this connection and foster youth in single-parent homes. Encouraging a relationship with God and a relationship with caring youth workers can not only fill the possible void these youth feel, but also bring them closer to feeling whole and stronger through Christ. The average American family on television is still very far from the real families of urban youth. UYWI will continue to train youth workers to evangelize and disciple youth who are facing serious issues such as fatherlessness, and train them to become stronger leaders for the future.

Your prayers and generous gifts allow our team to train youth workers nationwide who stand in the gap for youth in desperate need for healthy equipped role models to demonstrate the Gospel to them.

With deep appreciation,

Maria Chavez

Vice President of Strategy & Execution

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