Art of Aging: Grandparents raising children

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In the city of Philadelphia, 60,000 children are being raised by their grandparents. (WPVI)

Project Home's Honickman Learning Center in North Philadelphia has a program called the Supportive Older Women's Network, SOWN.

It's a one-stop service for grandparents raising children.

For some grandparents, becoming a parent all over again can be overwhelming.

"Hydir came into my life when I thought I was just finished with raising children," said Doris Roberts of Philadelphia. "At first, I was highly upset."

SOWN offers weekly support group sessions, counseling and help navigating needed resources.

"If it wasn't for SOWN, I'd probably be crazy by now," said Shirley Shelton, also from Philadelphia. "A lot of doors opened for me that I didn't even know were out there."

"These are the unsung heroes of our community," said SOWN's Arlene Segal. "They're extraordinary people."

The goal of the program is to keep struggling families intact.

"If I didn't have her, then I wouldn't have anything," said Jasmin Jackson, referring to her grandmother. I'd be in foster care."

If you are interested in the services offered by SOWN, visit their website here, or call the PCA Helpline at 215-765-9040.

To find more late-in-life success stories, go to the Art of Aging section.








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