About Us

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it isn’t okay, it isn’t the end.” — Paulo Coelho

Fortitude's vision is to bridge the gap for single fathers and their children to empower fathers to become successful by providing support, education and encouragement. Financially assisting our father with their legal matters is one major way to bridge this gap and to give them self–empowerment.

Fortitude believes that through education, counselling and assistance with legal affairs we can help reduce the devastating statistics. Our goal is to empower and encourage fathers to actively participate in their court proceeding to allow for equal opportunity in the matters of their child(ren).

Our Story

Fortitude is a Team of licensed professionals and volunteers in the Legal, Social Work and Mental Health fields. We are dedicated to assisting and advocating for men and/or single fathers who have hit roadblocks in life as they struggle to manage life's issues; in particular, those who are fighting to stay connected to their children and to support those experiencing the pain of bereavement as well as those who have accepted the role of a new father - or whether you have been left to raise your child(ren) alone or because you are the court ordered next of kin.

 

The organization was created as a response to the growing imbalance between the endless support and/or resources given to families and single mothers, and the very little equal services available for single fathers; even though stats show that the number of single fathers has increased greatly. These services for families are often not equipped to meet the needs for the single father.

 

It is at this time that Fortitude came to be. We discovered lone parent homes and their barriers continue to be greatly underserved in the Greater Toronto & Halton Areas. During the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2021, this demand became more evident with statistics increasing in Mental Health issues, Abuse, Family Alienation and Divorce rates. This discovery initiated a fervour to make this assignment come to life and with a very heavy heart, Carla decided to do something about it.

 

Fortitude’s values are built on respect, compassion, confidentiality, equality, open-mindedness, advocacy and integrity. Our values are helping to build our single fathers brick upon brick and empowering them to have healthy and strong relationships with their children. We foster an environment of teamwork, education, and encouragement. 

 

Our mission is to enrich the lives of single fathers of all ages and to provide the support, education and encouragement they need in order to ensure that they become successful and that they have the right tools to assist in strengthening their relationships with their children. With support, education and encouragement, we can help bridge the gap for fathers and their children.

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Meet The Team

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Dr. David A. King

On Sabbatical Until Further Notice.

David is a Strategist, Spiritual Care Leader, Psychotherapist, and Pastoral Clinician who coaches, mentors, and influences next-generation leaders towards implementing and transforming change in their respective spheres of influence. E.g. families, government, business, and educational fields. Mr. King is trained in Theology, Ministry, Clinical Chaplaincy, Pastoral Psychotherapy, and Business Operations. His work experience comprises banking, financial services, healthcare chaplaincy, and church ministration. David King has obtained over 40,000 therapeutic hours in clinical counseling and pastoral care. His wealth of knowledge and the wisdom earned have placed him in the major leagues in which his service is much sought after in various cultures. He maintains his personal philosophy: "the soul needs cure".

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Carla Rodrigues

Carla is a Registered Social Service Worker and Certified Post Abortion Counsellor. She  is also a Certified Anger Management Specialist under NAMA: National Anger Management Association. She delivers Anger Management Courses where a collaboration of referrals are directed to her whether  court ordered, clinical assessments, agency or spousal/family and church referrals.  

Carla Rodrigues founded Fortitude, which was birthed from a class project in her final year of College in the Social Service Worker Program (2012). She brings with her the following: Over 20 years of Experience working with families as well as working extensively in the Region of Peel in a Crisis Pregnancy Organization. She was also a part of the Black Creek Collaborative. Her experience entails working with clients in the areas of housing and parenting... such as representing in court, advocating for housing, employment & providing family mediation. 

She approaches every individual with human dignity and respect. Her personal experiences have birthed Fortitude when she journeyed through alienation and reconciliation with her own father and her son’s father. Having grown up with a mother's strong imposition, her goals are to impact and educate parents, to keep fathers connected to their children, to reduce the alienation of children’s biological rights. She also wants to help redeem fathers wanting to be connected to their child/ren and their development. 

Carla is passionate about the father-child recconnection. She is fully aware of the importance of the mental well-being of both father and child having each other in their lives.

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Kevin-Joel Coupland

Kevin is a Registered Psychotherapist, a CAF (Canadian Armed Forces) Chaplain, a husband (over 20 years), a father, and a coach. He loves writing, adventures, cycling, basketball, gardening, and being creative. As a therapist, Kevin is kind and empathetic, yet he also understands the value of honesty. He is not just going to sit and quietly listen to nonsense. We all need to take the brave step of change and Kevin wants to help his clients live brave and authentic lives. Kevin is an attachment based therapist and he has been working with hundreds of clients for over eight years in public and private practice. He has facilitated multiple groups, taught college courses and coached individuals and teams. He believes strongly in practising what he preaches through involvement in humanitarian work around the world. Kevin created and uses a three step process of Reflect, Repair, and Re-create to help clients move forward. He has also created TWOgetherONE as a Facebook resource for couples to be encouraged and succeed.

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Howard Courtney

Registered  NAMA Certified  “Anger Management Specialist-II” (Innisfil/Barrie Region).

Howard Courtney was born in Orangeville, Ontario, and upon graduation from Eastern Pentecostal Bible College, shared ministry positions in Orangeville with Rev. Paul Starratt , in Barrie with Rev. Richard Green, and Rev. Ray Running before pioneering Innisfil Community Church. He has pastored Innisfil Community Church for the past 42 years with an emphasis on serving the community. He has been recognized by the Canadian Red Cross Society for volunteer service with their Distinguished Service Award in 1997, he is also the recipient of two separate Canadian Medals for volunteer service, the Governor General of Canada 125th Anniversary Confederation Medal (January, 1994), and The “Queens Jubilee Medal” (January, 2003) both presented for making a significant contribution to Canada, the community and his fellow citizens. In November of this year, he was presented “The Order of Red Cross”, a prestigious award, considered the Canadian Red Cross’ highest award. “The Order Of Red Cross”  recognizes extraordinary people who have provided outstanding humanitarian service at home and abroad. Howard’s heart is to express his faith through service to the community. He also served on the District Executive for the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada’s largest district, that of Western Ontario District which oversees some 373 churches and over 1,000 credentialed ministers. He is proudly married to his awesome wife Beulah, who partners with him in life, service, and ministry.

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Amandeep Sekhon

Amandeep is a mother of two and a wife. She has 15 years of experience working in the social services sector and 20 years working with children and families in the Toronto and Peel region. She has obtained a Social Service Worker Diploma from Humber College. She has extensive experience working in the Black Creek communities with racially and marginalized families. She has brought to those communities’ programs that enrich the children with those communities including South Asian communities and gained individuals confidence. She is compassionate as well as passionate in finding resources and accessibility for the individual who she comes in contact with and confides in her. She has made great impacts on women's, seniors', and children's lives and has provided positive encouragement to the families of those children and healthy mental wellness.One of the things she allowed her greater flexibility to work with diverse and marginalized community as a result of her work she is able to touch so many lives in so many ways. She is proud to support communities and will continue to do so. She brings in an extensive knowledge and experience in the community development and committed to promote mission and vision of Fortitude.

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Giovanni Garcia

Partnered with Fortitude upon completing his Accreditation of Addictions and Mental Health Worker (AMHW). He has a wealth of experience. He holds Certificates working with Self – Injuring and Suicidal Adolescents & Collaborative Strengths- Based Family Therapy Approach in mobilizing Mental Health Research to engage marginalized youth in care settings. He is a Husband and Father of children ranging from 5-20+ years old. He understands the dynamics of blended families and cultural dynamics. He grew up in Mexico and Guatemala, he came to Canada at the age of 13 years old alone. He shares his personal experience and is focused on providing healthy outcomes of Fortitude's vision to keep fathers healthy and connected to their children. He has endured his own personal journey and is passionate about walking alongside others to provide support during challenges as he knows firsthand how it feels and brings his purpose into play by using his training and experiences and his journey to impact and to transform others feeling discouraged or left behind.

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Rob Kowalski

Life coach. Raised by a 15 yr old mother, Rob's childhood was one of poverty and lack. With no strong male role model in the picture, he taught himself how to “be a man”, and eventually became the most sought after male stripper in his hometown of Baltimore. At 25, he became a nightclub promoter and took over the nightlife in Charm City. His life looked like something out of a movie- full of sex, drugs, and alcohol. Rob was the man in charge. Life of the party. But, he was empty. Lost. With severe addictions. Then…He had a radical life-changing experience that shifted the trajectory of his being. With this change, Rob quit his job and closed the door to all his old relationships and bad habits. But he found himself completely alone and bored out of his mind. Rob didn’t know where to find friends who wanted to have fun, yet who were driven and wanted to do life together…without regrets the next day. He wanted a place where EVERYONE felt welcomed, seen, and connected. So, in 2015, Rob used his natural ability of club promotions and bringing people together and created CityFam.

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Halina Cleland

After surviving a traumatic divorce, Halina’s goal was to see others recover from the after-effects of separation and divorce. A number of years ago, she began leading a Divorce Recovery program for men and women. Her goal was to enable them to move forward with their lives in a productive and emotionally healthy manner. Through this program, people learn how to address their depression, anger, loneliness, and all the emotions that coincide with divorce. Situations regarding children and custody, remarriage and sex, are dealt with in a sensitive manner. People are then more able to move forward with important life skills. Halina has studied divorce counselling and other areas where people struggle with their emotions.

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Angelo Guzzo

A member of CCAF (Canadian Addictions Counsellors Certification Federation). He has continued providing top assistance to those who are struggling with addiction since 2012. Proficient in time management and organization, Angelo brings a wealth of experience in the legal and counselling fields.
Angelo possesses Diplomas in The Court and Tribunal agent program at Humber College and Addiction Studies Diploma at Humber College. He has also volunteered at The Ontario Corrections Institute for 7 years.
Due to his vast experience in both fields, he can assist in all types of addiction challenges. His personable nature, excellent communication skills, and strong ethics are a must to deal with everyday addiction problems.