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Blog Home > The Baltimore Sun Highlights Couple Enrolled in CFUF's Couples Advancing Together (CAT) Program
The Baltimore Sun Highlights Couple Enrolled in CFUF's Couples Advancing Together (CAT) Program
[Excerpt from The Baltimore Sun]

Delonte Mohamed was taken with Satrina McDuffie's intuitive nature. She was unable to resist his "mushy side," hidden to most by a rough exterior. Within a few months, they knew: It was love.

A year later, the couple are expecting a baby boy, adding to McDuffie's brood of two toddlers. Money is tight, their families disapprove of the relationship, and they bicker a lot.

Still, they hope to get married one day. They're just not sure how to get there.

So every Tuesday, McDuffie, 22, and Mohamed, 21, attend a counseling program at Baltimore's Center for Urban Families tailored to couples like them: young, struggling and with a baby on the way.

It's part of a nationwide marriage movement aimed at combating poverty. Five years ago, President Bush announced the strategy in his Healthy Marriage Initiative. Last year, Congress approved $150 million annually for the next five years for marriage and fatherhood programs, the Welfare Reauthorization Act. An arm of the effort targets African-Americans, who have the lowest marriage rates.

Nationwide, nearly 70 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers, according to 2004 figures from National Center for Health Statistics. While 45 percent of black adults have never been married, that figure is 27 percent for whites, according to 2006 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

For years, parents, policy experts and even Bill Cosby have warned of the troubles facing fractured black families.

Now, people are taking notice. From "Marry Your Baby Daddy Day" in New York, to marriage ministries in Baltimore churches, private organizations and social service agencies are encouraging African-Americans to wed.

Read the rest of the story here »
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