Leaving the Street: Young Fathers Move from Hustling to Legitimate Work

by Lauren J. Kotloff

Feb 4, 2005
This report explores employment and hustling among men in Fathers at Work, a three-year national demonstration designed to help low-income, noncustodial fathers secure living-wage jobs, increase their involvement with their children and manage their child support obligations. As part of P/PVs evaluation of the initiative, researchers undertook an in-depth interview study. When they learned that more than three quarters of all Fathers at Work participants had been convicted of a crime, they focused the interview study on 27 men who had relied on hustlingprimarily selling drugs, but also other illegal activitiesas a source of income. The report describes how the men became involved in hustling and what led them to seek alternatives. Participants hustling and work experiences are detailed, with four distinct patterns emergingresearchers found that these patterns appeared to influence early employment outcomes. The report closes with a look at the ongoing challenges faced by the men, and recommendations for programs working with similar populations.
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