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Pregnant and facing prison, Krystal knew she needed to make a change. Thanks to donors like you, she found the help she needed.

When Krystal found out she was pregnant, she was in a bad place. She had been battling addiction for years and was now facing criminal charges.

The pregnancy was her wake-up call. The first thing she did was to turn herself in knowing that incarceration would keep her clean during her pregnancy.

She was sentenced to 30 months at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility and gave birth while in custody. Her newborn, Grayson, was immediately sent to live with his grandmother.

The separation was rough. Krystal worried constantly. Was Grayson getting good care? When released, will he know her?

But thanks to donors like you, Krystal found Community Action’s Coffee Creek Head Start program. This innovative program provides an opportunity for incarcerated moms to bond with their young children, learn about parenting and child development, and supports their transition upon release.

Grayson came twice a week to the early childhood classroom located at the correctional facility where babies and moms spend time together in an educational setting.

That first day in the classroom together when Krystal held her four-month-old son, he cried and cried. She felt rejected and worried that this was all too upsetting for him. But the Head Start staff were right there encouraging her not to give up.

After 45 minutes of walking with her crying baby, she stepped outside onto the patio, sat on the swing, and he fell asleep peacefully on her chest. The swing became a regular source of consolation and bonding over the next year of the program.

As Krystal and Grayson spent regular time together, the Head Start staff were invaluable resources about how to best support his healthy development.

Upon her release, Krystal was reunited with Grayson where they now live in a two-bedroom apartment. The bond they had developed through the Head Start program, was the foundation for a smooth transition.

Krystal is so grateful. Because of your support, she left prison with the skills and confidence to be the mom she was longing to be.


When asked if she thought she had met her goal of becoming the mother that Grayson deserves, Krystal says, "If I'm not, I am real close."