Thursday , August 22 2019
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Lankard: A second chance for Kendi

Her name is Kendi. She spent an hour with me and a group of friends who are interested in understanding the contributions of nonprofit organizations in our community.

Kendi first started using drugs at the age of 11. The rest is a familiar story — school dropout, two teen pregnancies, a chaotic life, homelessness, loss of children, loss of dignity, poor health, difficulty holding a job, criminal activity to feed the habit and eventually jail.

Jail. No one wants to be there, but it was there Kendi found a gift that changed her life — ReMerge.ReMerge was first introduced to one of our group who has volunteered at the county jail as a mental health counselor. A young female prisoner she was spending time with, referred to ReMerge as “my last chance.”

Terri Woodland, ReMerge executive director says the nonprofit was created to provide an alternative to incarceration for women with children. By collaborating with 40 other community partners, ReMerge begins by providing a support system, something that was typically lacking in their younger years.