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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - These grandparents have taken on the responsibility of three grandchildren, even though they are struggling with financial and health issues.
The family, which includes grandparents in their 50s and children who are 12, 10 and 7, live in rural West Virginia.
With the children's mother incarcerated and the father not in the picture, the grandparents showed compassion to take them in.
Unfortunately, the grandfather had a debilitating stroke about a year ago and is still bedfast, the family's caseworker said. A caregiver is helping, but it's still a challenge for the grandmother to tend to his needs and those of the three youngsters.
The grandfather can no longer work, so the family has had to seek public aid. They receive $698 in Supplemental Security Income for the grandfather and $625 for one of the grandchildren, who has special needs. The family also receives $340 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Family funds and $350 in food stamps.
Stretching that income to cover utilities and other household expenses, food and clothing for growing children has been tough. The child with special needs has to be taken to regular counseling appointments so travel costs add up, too.
"The family has really been through a lot," the caseworker said.
Two home essentials currently are in bad repair - the refrigerator and the wood/coal stove that is the family's primary source of heat. Two of the children need beds, and the grandparents' bed needs to be replaced.
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