Greg Hill spent months in a dark place. It was just him, depression, and thoughts of failure as he wallowed in defeat.
He had just experienced a major setback in a custody battle to see his infant son and he didn’t know what to do.
“I got a very bad deal. My son had no access to me. I felt that I had failed him as a father,” Hill said. “Failing your first child as a father….it’s a feeling of you have no way out. You don’t know what to do in order to rearrange or adjust the actual process that just happened. You sit by yourself and you use whatever coping mechanism that you think can help you. For me, it was sitting in the dark, listening to the thoughts in my head.”
But after three months of darkness and pushing everyone away, a lightbulb went off in his mind, illuminating his life like a light on a stage. “What am I going to do about it?” he asked himself. “I couldn’t just sit there and allow it to happen.”
That shift in his mindset inspired an idea that catapulted into a nonprofit organization that today, less than two years later, has helped over 20,000 parents through its fully accessible Virtual Resource Center, and more than 955 parents through one-on-one no cost consultations, performed over Zoom, FaceTime and Phone. All the parents served have sought assistance while navigating their child custody and co-parenting journeys.
Hill is the Co-Founder and CEO of Our Children Have Rights .Org (OCHR). OCHR is changing lives by providing education, resources, and support services for successful co-parenting strategies. The organization was built on three main pillars: Education, Legal Aid Navigation Support, and Mental Health and Wellness Resources.
About 40% of the families served are from the black and brown communities. They come from a wide range of economic brackets and reside all over Florida.
He uses his experience to help other parents maneuver the legal system much like he did: through information gathering, researching, and learning what custody looks like. He educates them so that they can hold even their own lawyers accountable.
He also encourages mental health support. For him, therapy came in the form of leaning on his village of friends and family. He directs Our Children Have Rights .Org families to a variety of mental and behavioral health organizations for help.
The journey can be emotional, draining, disappointing, and defeating.
But when his organization can help a family understand the process of custody cases and prepare them for potential pitfalls, it can promote a better mental state.
“It’s such an important topic and as an organization and as the CEO, I have to be honest about my story,” said Hill. “There will be times when you are going to pull your hair out because you don’t know what’s going on. It takes a mental toll. I know. I lived it. But pretty soon you start to understand that you’re not the only one going through this. You’re not alone. Things will get better.”