Opioid crisis prompts NH grandparents to 'step up' for their families
Thursday, November 30, 2023
As the opioid crisis continues, more New Hampshire grandparents are seeking financial help to raise their grandchildren.
Already struggling with the emotional loss of their own child to an overdose, grandparents are often taking in multiple grandchildren, who struggle with physical and mental health challenges of their own.
Denyse Richter, founder and executive director of Step Up Parents, a group helping caregivers cover immediate financial needs, said grandparents are helping both their families and their communities.
"If these kids can get a better start and live in a loving home and keep the family connection, it is the next best thing," Richter explained.
Richter pointed out an estimated 12,000 grandparents are raising their grandchildren as New Hampshire continues to experience some of the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in the country.
Step Up Parents was formed in 2018, after Richter saw her own friend struggle with the daily challenges of raising grandkids. Since then, Step Up has helped more than 500 families with more than 800 children cover unexpected medical bills, car payments and more.
Richter called the grandparents "unsung heroes," who never expected to be caring for children in their golden years, especially on fixed incomes.
"I think that just means so much," Richter emphasized. "To let them know that they're not alone, and that we do get that this is really difficult and we want to help."
While New Hampshire has dealt with the full force of the opioid crisis, Richter noted it is also considered a model for other states in helping families experiencing this crisis get the resources they need.
With the holiday season already underway, she added it is important to show these families and caregivers just how much they are appreciated.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
The Florida House is expected to follow the Senate's lead by signing off on an initiative to pour millions into the state's health care industry…
Pro-Ukraine rallies are planned in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco as well as cities across the United States this weekend, marking the …
New York activists are voicing serious concerns about the state's new congressional maps. The state's top court ordered new voting-district maps to …
New York lawmakers are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to keep dredging the Hudson River. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., sent a …
A unique collaboration between Ford Motor Co. and 41 community and technical colleges across the country is helping students and the automotive …
A new survey reveals most Mainers support policies requiring medical providers to disclose their facility fees before they receive treatment…
People who receive emergency food services from New Mexico food banks and other charitable organizations were among those at a strategic summit Friday…
North Dakota voters are divided on climate change matters, according to new polling data. To get more community buy-in for climate solutions…