By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter
Larry Lanting, originally from Huntsville, AL, moved to Toledo into Birmingham Terrace in 1993 after his parents separated. There, Lanting started selling drugs.
“I’ve been in and out of prison from the late 90s/ early 2000s ‘til basically 2011. I’ve been home 11 years exactly September 1st…I was addicted to that fast life, I was addicted to money…Most of my friends I used to hangout with… they’re all dead”
After serving his time, he experienced what he saw as injustices against fathers, especially those with felony records, in obtaining legal rights to their children and child support. “My kids are 9 and 13, they’ve been away from their mom for eight years and three months. It took me almost two years to get them from CSB. It’s two against one [the mother and his felony record].” Lanting has had full custody for the past seven years.
A little over five years ago he entered the Brothers United Program. His former cellmate was a part of the program in its initial stages, and he introduced him to it.
The most important thing Bothers United helped him with is acceptance.
“I never thought in a million years I would be having kids with an enemy,” he said. Lanting has a strained relationship with his children’s mother. He has learned to accept the situation for himself and his children.
Recently married, he co-parents with his new partner. “I have to co-parent with her… and we have different schedules…” BU Nation has helped him to communicate in his new situation today. “I want them to know what a healthy relationship is.” His children have even been a part of the program.
“I’m just trying to show my kids that there’s a different way than cutting corners than like I used to with selling drugs.” Today, Lanting owns his own business. “I have a small firewood business, East Toledo Firewood, a self-sustainable [business]. I sell the wood to pay all my property taxes and showing my kids…a little bit of hard work is a [good] short cut.
“I think they’re [Brother’s United] doing a wonderful thing community-wise and it’s not a white thing or a black thing… It’s a colorful thing. I’ve tried sending everyone I know [into Brothers United]… I’ve met other fathers like when I’ve gone to family court…I sent other fathers their way.”
If someone is on the fence about going through the program, he should “at least give them a shot,” said Lanting. He volunteers his time to the program every chance he can and is a proud member of “BU Nation.”
For more information on Brothers United, visit www.pathwaytoledo.org/brothers-united/ or call 419-242-7304.