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“My grandson went from detention to the honor roll.”

How did you do it?

“Love… and a lot of patience… Biting my tongue…I had to tell him, if you want to cry, cry.”

Grandparents are raising grandkids at staggering numbers. How come?

“My husband worked at the power plant. That’s gone. The saw mill, that’s gone. My dad was a coal miner. The mines are gone too. Our kids don’t have anything left.”

We have lost a generation of parents—not just to drugs, but to greed.

This is the wealthiest time in West Virginia history, but we have robbed a generation of middle-class jobs, local infrastructure, and access to decent healthcare. For the average WV family, jobs are harder to get, harder to keep, and pay less than they did a generation ago. Meanwhile, the safety net is torn—churches, unions, and social services have all been starved.

Thank goodness for programs like Healthy Grandfamilies, which provides counsel and support to families in crisis. We also need to reform our system so that grandparents and other kinship families get the same benefits that foster parents get. But the problem is deeper, and so is the solution.

Until we rebuild the working and middle classes (by favoring small businesses and unions over out-of-state monopolies), we will continue to live in a state with both great wealth and great despair.

See some of our plans to address this here: