After Prison, Jose is Determined to be a Better Dad and Listener

After Prison, Jose is Determined to be a Better Dad and Listener


Your financial support helps Dads like Jose Santiago. Here’s his story:

“I never heard the words ‘I love you.’ I never got a hug. I never got any of that as a kid.”


When it came to compassion and communication, Jose didn’t have many examples to look up to growing up. At 13, he left home and spent life on the streets. School stopped, and time in prison soon took its place.

When released, the dynamic between him and his children began to reflect his own upbringing. That’s when he knew he needed to change.

“My son, my oldest…it’s a really tough situation,” he says,” He’s a teenager. He feels [like] nobody can say nothing to him. And I didn’t know how to deal with it. I needed guidance, so…I came to Fortune.”


Jose came to the right place. At Fortune, where over 50% of our staff have justice involvement experience, we truly understand his story. In fact, our community-supported services are specifically tailored for it.

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Here, Jose interacts with counselors like Elvin Garcia in our Family Services program, who take time to show him how thoughtful communication can transform the relationship he has with his son. Being a great dad isn’t just about authority—it’s about really hearing, too:

“I didn’t wanna hear my son. I was listening to him, but I wasn’t hearing him, and that’s one of the areas that [Fortune] really helped me out in…because a lot of people listen, but are they really hearing? I wasn’t hearing.”


Over time, the lines of communication are getting stronger. Today, Jose is discovering how to give the love that he never received. This Father’s Day, help others discover what it means to parent with compassion. Your support allows our holistic programs to thrive, impacting more dads with justice involvement, like Jose.

“Respecting my son’s feelings. A lot of parents don’t understand that. A lot of parents [say] ‘I’m the father. I’m the adult. You’re the child. You listen.’ It’s not like that. I understand that now.”


Help Dads Thrive After Incarceration

*Written by Root Stitches LLC

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