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JAVA aims to be more inclusive to grieving men

This month focused on men who may be grieving, but haven't been able to express their feelings.

Posted: Feb 24, 2019 9:52 PM
Updated: Feb 25, 2019 6:24 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - The victim advocacy group, JAVA, held their monthly meeting Sunday.

This month focused on men who may be grieving, but haven't been able to express their feelings. 

"Men are kind of driven to be the foundation of their families and just kind of have that strong sense about them, to where they kind of get left behind when it comes to grieving and hurting in general. They grieve differently," said Theresa Juillerat with JAVA. 

JAVA brought in male mentors for Sunday's meeting. Some were members of organizations, and others were members of the community who have made a difference. 

"It's an honor to kind of be able to fill that gap, because I was once the young brother who didn't know how to do critical thinking and channel my energy," said Foundation One, a local barber and mentor. 

One said, in his time cutting hair for young men, he's heard a lot of stories, and even received letters from men in prison seeking guidance. 

"I tell them to start believing in themselves and find a hobby, and find other ways to channel their negative energy," One said. 

One has also seen the impact of violence first-hand, cutting the hair of more than 50 victims for their funerals. 

"It's an honor, actually, when you cut somebody's hair like that, because that's a precious moment when you lose a loved one, and you try to make them look as normal and as presentable as possible," he said. 

Darnell Masterson said he also considers himself a mentor for boys in the community. 

"It don't matter if it happened this year, last year, the year before, or ten years from now. People still have an honorary in their hearts for their loved ones, that they lost out on, and they're still grieving in a way," Masterson said. 

JAVA holds meetings every month, and wants to let the public know all are welcome to grieve, leave a picture of their loved one, and tell their stories. 

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