BURLINGTON, N.C. — For the past year, William Jackson has been trying to find a place to call home for him and his 2-year-old son Aldridge.
“It’s definitely an uphill battle,” Jackson said.
Being the only caretaker and provider for his son hasn’t been easy.
Jackson lost his job at the U.S. Department of Defense in April 2013 and still hasn’t found work.
“You realize I can’t afford this anymore, and I can’t afford that anymore,” Jackson said. “In fact, I can’t afford anything.”
Trying to get back on his feet, he and his son stay at the shelter at Allied Churches of Alamance County in Burlington.
It’s the only shelter that would take him in with a child.
“We [men] get overlooked,” Jackson said.
“We don’t generally see single dads with children,” said shelter Executive Director Kim Crawford. “And frankly, there’s no place for them to go.”
The shelter at Allied Churches was like most other shelters.
There was a dorm for women and children and a dorm for men. But after hearing more stories like Jackson’s, they decided to change that.
The shelter converted one of the dorms designated for women and children to a family dorm, giving single fathers and their children a place to stay.
“The dads are doing the best that they can to be great parents,” Crawford said. “The least that we can do is try and help them.”
It’s this help through a tough time that’s shown Jackson what’s most important.
“He’s healthy, he’s smart,” Jackson said referring to his son. “As a parent, I couldn’t ask for a better son.”