Many of us are already making plans for Father’s Day—to show Dad just how much he’s loved and appreciated. In an ideal world, all dads should be celebrated. Of course, in the real world—at least in the world where Father’s Support Center operates—the issues of responsible fatherhood are complex. But so, too, are the solutions.

For more than 15 years, Father’s Support Center has reached out to the most alienated, unattached, non-custodial fathers from some of St. Louis’ toughest neighborhoods. I first met its president/CEO Halbert Sullivan about a decade ago. While he admits he doesn’t have all the answers, his approach is turning lives around one family at a time. He told me then, “We work between the ears. If we can change a man’s perception about himself and his situation, then we can change his attitude and his behavior.”

Clearly, Father’s Support Center is doing something right: The organization has touched the lives of approximately 9,000 men, allowing them that fleeting second chance to bond with their children and transform their attitudes about what it means to be a father. Our story begins on p. 31.