The “Fatherhood Buzz” initiative has sparked interest in barber shop owners around the country. Along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, President Obama has become committed to providing men in inner cities with fatherhood tips through community barbershops. His plan is to distribute pamphlets and literature that feature fatherhood tips at barber shops in high-risk areas where children often have a single parent or even no parents at all caring for them.
To prepare for the start of the program, President Obama has been meeting with barbers around the country. He even has a few barbers flown in the White House to discuss strategies every month. During the Fatherhood Initiative Fatherhood Buzz Barbershop Tour, President Obama has been visiting cities with large Black communities like his hometown of Chicago in order to strengthen ties with barbers and understand how the program can better serve their clientele.
Barber shop owners can apply for grants from the Office of Family Assistance to take advantage of these new initiatives. The Office of Family Assistance has been given a total of $150 million to distribute to barber shops throughout the United States.
Different barbers have spoken out on the effectiveness of the program. Barbers believe that the program will be successful in barber shops around the country. Because barbershops are a common social meeting place in the African American community, the shops will have many opportunities to hand out valuable information to adults in the community. Barber shops are more than just a meeting place though. According to barber shop owner Orlando Burns, barber shops are a place where men can confide in their stylists and share their inner fears and struggles. Burns is the owner of the Orlando Barber Studio and is very enthusiastic about implementing the Fatherhood Buzz program in his own barbershop. He has already created t-shirts that will be worn by the barbers in his shop to support the program. Stylists can in turn now provide valuable information to clients that can help them make the right choice in dealing with child custody issues or difficulties in raising a child.
The barbershop will become a central point in the community where adults can gather and discuss how they can improve the lives of their children through education. Adults will discuss the ways that they can raise healthy children and be positive role models in their lives. The barber shop will become a natural setting where men will feel like they can open up about their relationships with their children. Barbers will then be able to reinforce the positive relationships that they have with their children by lending a listening ear and being able to offer suggestions on fatherhood. The program is set to be a success in dispensing fatherhood information in cities all around America.