MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Every Tuesday, as part of our community changers series, we highlight people and organizations making Memphis better. This week, we caught up with a group that believes in happily ever after, after bars.
Bernice Ware is a mother of three, recently lost her husband and one of her sons is currently incarcerated.
“I see how much it can impact a person’s life when you lose someone to the system,” Bernice said. “It’s not just the wife, not just the children. It’s mothers, fathers, siblings, you know. Its the whole family unit that needs that support. I’m like, what am I suppose to do? How am I suppose to get past this? Dr. DeBerry, what’s the next step? What do I do?”
Dr. Crystal DeBerry is the founder of Indomitable Families. They’re a non-profit organization that helps families and individuals that are impacted by incarceration.
“If you can stabilize a family unit and prepare them for some of the barriers that their loved one returning home are about to encounter, why not,” Dr. DeBerry said.
Dr. DeBerry knows what it’s like to have a loved one incarcerated.
“I’m sitting in court and I’m listening to the judge sentence my husband,” Dr. DeBerry said.
Her husband was incarcerated for almost three years and she was expecting her third child. All of a sudden, she had to transition to single parenthood and loss of income.
“I remember standing in front of the washer and dryer and I was like, ‘ok, I don’t know what to do.’ My mom was like, put a load of towels in. Just start somewhere,” Dr. DeBerry said.
That is when Dr. DeBerry realized she wanted to start group therapy for woman. They added group sessions for men too. Then they incorporated sessions for the entire family. They help with resources on employment, childcare and even housing, and that’s exactly what Bernice was looking for.
“It gave me the opportunity to get into a better living situation, Bernice said. “You’re able to see how what you’re going through, you’re not alone. You’re not alone in this fight.”
This is why our anonymous donor wanted to give indomitable families a thousands dollars.
You no longer have to be an invisible victim when you have a loved one incarcerated. You have a support system that can help.
A true Community Changer.