Putting the "Grand" in "Grandparent"
SOWN, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit agency, provides strong support networks and trusted services to older adults in need.
On Thursday mornings, one may see men and women walking along Judson St. to the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs (HLCCTL). They are of different ages, some alone, some with a friend, all walking purposefully into the building.
But where might they be headed?
To the second floor, to warmly greet familiar faces and share familiar stories of sacrifice and love.
They are all grandparents raising their grandchildren and rely on the programs and services offered at the GrandFamily Resource Center, which include parenting education, professionally-facilitated support groups, Individual counseling and information and referral services.
Sixty-three-year-old Ada, a retired nursing assistant who is raising her 14-year-old grandson, is an exemplary participant. She has attended programs at SOWN’s GrandFamily Resource Center for about two years. Through various workshops she has learned about technology, negotiated Philadelphia's school system, and has been exposed to new ideas from other "grands" about raising a teen.
Most importantly, Ada receives the support she needs to provide a stable, loving home for a boy on the cusp of manhood.
SOWN’s GrandFamily Resource Center meets every Thursday from 10 am to Noon at the HLCCTL. Participants have found friendship, resources, information, and a group of grandparents who can empathize with the unique challenges they face.
For more information about GrandFamily Resource Center services throughout the city, call Arlene Segal at 215-487-3000, x11 or at [email protected].