SpoFI - Who We Are and What We Believe
The Spokane Fatherhood Initiative (SpoFI) is a movement of Christian individuals and organizations that is driven by these three key principles:
1. The major problems in our society are nearly all rooted in fatherlessness.
2. Cultural change will not happen unless the Body of Christ leads the way.
3. The church has a mandate, a duty and a responsibility to assist our communities in the battle against fatherlessness.
The vision of the Spokane Fatherhood Initiative is to see God’s heart for fathers and families transform our culture.
SpoFI aims to achieve this vision through its mission of restoring the importance, value, honor and dignity of fatherhood through training programs, networking, community initiatives and public awareness campaigns that model the teachings of Jesus Christ.
SpoFI’s programs are built around three core objectives:
1. Build stronger fathers
2. Build stronger families
3. Build stronger kids
SpoFI’s major initiatives in 2019 are to:
call the church to action to respond to the crisis in foster care (see Spokane127), and
teach fatherhood principles using curriculum developed by the National Fatherhood Initiative
The Spokane Fatherhood Initiative (SpoFI) is the only organization in Spokane – the birthplace of Father’s Day – that stands as a champion, advocate and cheerleader for fathers. It is the premiere fatherhood organization in this region.
Although organized as a non-profit corporation, SpoFI operates as a collaborative, networking organization. Through monthly meetings, SpoFI brings together representatives of government agencies, non-profits and faith-based ministries to discuss a common agenda: how to overcome the pervasive effects of fatherlessness. Through this process, the work of SpoFI is now known by well over 40 organizations.
The History of SpoFI
Organizers of the Spokane Fatherhood Initiative consider January 20, 2016 to be the official “birth day” for SpoFI. About 100 Christians from the Spokane region came together that day for a City Impact Roundtable, a forum to discuss ways the church could address and help solve the problems of the city. During a time of table discussion, participants were asked to identify one issue – only one – that was the primary problem facing our community. Without any coordination, table after table declared that the number one issue facing Spokane was fatherlessness.
That event sparked formation of a steering committee that crafted the name Spokane Fatherhood Initiative and its abbreviation, SpoFI (pronounced SPOF-eye). SpoFI was incorporated and received IRS non-profit status in July of 2017.
Major events in SpoFI’s history:
January 20, 2017 -- SpoFI Fatherhood Conference focused on problems of child abuse and neglect in this area; Speakers were from DSHS (foster care), Youth for Christ, Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, Safe Families, GSAE; conference objective was to call the church to repent.
February 2017 – Spokane127 birthed as sub-ministry of SpoFI. Goal is to mobilize the church to support foster care and adoption. James 1:27 – pure religion is this: care for widows and orphans. Objective is to see at least 127 new families become foster parents, adoptive parents or Safe Families.
February 2017 -- SpoFI begins 2-hour prayer sessions Fridays at DSHS, 1313 N. Atlantic. This practice continues every Friday, 8-10 a.m.
April 30, 2017 -- The Washing, non-stop reading of the Bible for next 90 hours. Culminated at 6 a.m. on the National Day of Prayer.
September 2017 -- Focus on the Family accepts SpoFI invitation to bring the Wait No More Conference to Spokane Sept. 22, 2018
September 7, 2017 -- SpoFI formally launched at luncheon at UGM hosted by The Way of Business
January 20, 2018 -- Second SpoFI Fatherhood Conference convened at Valley Real Life featuring David Murrow, Erin Jones and Ryan Brown and 27 exhibitors
June 5-6, 2018 – SpoFI representative attends first-ever Fatherhood Summit in Seattle which brought together community experts, fathers and father figures, researchers, local agency program providers, state agency leaders, and elected officials to listen to voices of fathers and create a high level, statewide plan for action to strengthen fatherhood programs.
June 7, 2018 – Along with Adopt Idaho and Men’s Ministry Catalyst, SpoFI welcomed Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, at a Coeur d’Alene breakfast for pastors and community leaders. Mr. Daly’s visit was to promote the upcoming Wait No More conference, a Focus on the Family special event promoting foster care and adoption coming to Spokane’s Valley Assembly Church Sept. 22, 2018.