The Robinson Family Thrives in Our Bridge Housing Program

Your generous gifts of loving support empower us to provide shelter and care to so many York County families who come to our door seeking safe haven throughout the year.

One thing that makes Bell Family Shelter unique is our commitment to helping families – no matter their make-up – when they are in need of emergency shelter and care. What you may not know is that one particular type of family unit we are able to serve (that no other place in York County does) is single fathers. The Robinson family is one of those families.

When he arrived on our doorstep, Mr. Robinson had a baby on each hip. “I was in a situation that led me to Bell Family Shelter. I kept calling the Shelter every day to see if there was space.”

Bell staff warmed and delivered bottles of formula to the family’s room, and helped Mr. Robinson work on developing a goal plan, which included a recommendation to transition out of the Shelter into Bell’s Bridge Housing program, where he and the twins currently reside.

Bridge program staff, Shelly Philogene, nominated Mr. Robinson for a Bell Personal Achievement award and was on hand to help with the twins when he accepted that award at the agency’s annual meeting in October.

“I feel like he is very responsible, he is very accountable,” she said, ”He has been doing an amazing job in the Bridge Program. Of course, like anybody else there are challenges, but he is doing okay, and he takes amazing care of the babies. He is positive, he has been following the guidelines and doing what he needs to do. He motivates himself and gets things done. He pushes himself and he definitely deserves an award for everything he has achieved. And to show other fathers that they can do the same thing and be successful. I feel like he is definitely an example to others. There are not a lot of resources out there for single dads. He does a great job.”

Mr. Robinson said, “The Shelter and Bridge programs have helped me a lot and taught me to be responsible for what I needed to do.” He continued, “It’s hard. I just roll with the punches and every day is not the same. I do what I have to do and take it as it comes. You got to feed one and then the other one. It drains me.” But, he adds, I like seeing them smile. Their smiles encourage him when he’s feeling down, and he says he loves when they say Dad first thing in the morning. “I am blessed to have them.”

What advice would he give to other single fathers? “No matter how hard it is just take your time, have patience, love them, and it will be all right. Do what you need to do.”

Thank you for being there for families like the Robinsons, helping them to see that they are valued and respected and can live with dignity in our community.