WARSAW — Knowing first hand the heartache a father has in not being able to see his child, the plight of fathers behind bars and problems mothers of children whose fathers are incarcerated, DeMario Loston, Warsaw, wants to find a way to establish a support system.
“I want to start a support group for parents who are not allowed to see their children (not because of court orders).” He also wants to find a way “to help mothers whose fathers of their child(ren) are in jail or in prison, to make the bills, have food in the house and things for school, to make it easier for them,” said Loston. “I know what it is like not seeing your son, not having your child in your life.”
Loston has seen incarcerated fathers who have not been allowed to receive photos, talk to their child on the phone or see them, sent photos of young cousins to their fathers who are incarcerated or have the child with him to talk to their father on the phone. “All because the mother didn’t like who he was with,” Loston said.
Loston is still in the idea stage, having talked to a few who are incarcerated and conversations with others.
Loston, who has spent some time in jail, hasn’t seen his son because he didn’t want to, the teen’s mother prohibits contact by any means and has told him his father wanted nothing to do with him. Far from the truth. He said he stopped caring about things when his son’s mother would not allow him to have any contact with his son. “I didn’t care anymore. I got into trouble and was in prison four times.”
“I’m trying to improve, help others,” Loston said, adding he is attending a recovery group through his church once a week and is working two and hopefully three jobs. “I have changed. I’m a new man. I made mistakes in the past. I’ve learned from them. There are people waiting for me to fail. They will be waiting for the rest of their lives.”
He is from the East St. Louis, Ill., area but grew up in Elkhart. He started at Purdue University to major in electrical engineering, but his son came along and he took a job. He then tried to take classes at Indiana University, South Bend. While in prison he took a course through Grace College and was in the top of his class when he received his certification as an auto technician. He had planned to attend Ivy Tech to get his associate degree in mechanics and auto body work. This is still on his list to accomplish.
But the setbacks he has had in life have not stopped him. He is a mechanic, and has been working on cars for years. He enjoys auto detailing, is a remodeler and a barber.
All this on top of a full time job, a weekend job and hopes of getting a third job.