COVID-19 Impacts ISDD
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the grandfamilies (grandparents raising grandchildren with disabilities) we serve particularly hard. The average age of our caregivers is 60 and many have an underlying health condition, such as diabetes or hypertension, which puts them at very high risk for this virus. If they become ill, it is likely to be serious - even fatal. They are also caring for at least one child with a disability, some of the children are medically fragile and also at high risk for infection. Some families have no personal autos or can no longer drive and rely on public transportation. These families are often isolated – with no one to help them – they have no safety net. Grandparents usually ARE the safety net.
The need for social isolation means that we have had to eliminate all group and home-based services for these families, making them more isolated than ever. We need to increase our contacts with the families virtually, but at the same time ISDD is facing a reduction in income from contracts that reimburse us for the services we can no longer offer. In order to keep supporting these families we need to find contributions from other sources or face having to cut services to families when they need us the most.
Of the 103 families we are serving, 34 are in crisis and need YOUR help to obtain food, supplies and assistance as soon as possible. Read some of their stories below and please help them with a tax-deductible donation. We catn get them thought this, but we can't do this without YOU!
Alice has health issues and lives on a fixed income. She s raising her severely disabled five year-old grandson on her own. He has multiple disabilities and requires extensive assistance and supervision. Alice is without transportation and cannot go shopping or to food distribution locations because as both she and her grandson are considered at high-risk for infection and serious illness.
Iris is 60 years old and raising a 5 year old with autism. She has no transportation and is on disability for numerous health problems including diabetes, seizures, kidney failure and thyroid issues. She and her grandson are living off cans of beans and have no way to get more food.
Mary has custody of her two young grandchildren, ages 2 and 4, both with special needs. She works as a home helper aide for seniors, but has had to drastically cut back on her hours in order to care for her grandchildren who are out of daycare and school due to COVID-19. When her hours are cut back, she is short on money for rent and food. With both children having special needs and being so young, it is nearly impossible for her to take them out of the house to food distribution sites and wait in long lines.
Annie has been raising a toddler and two teenagers their whole lives all on her own. She is in need of food and cleaning supplies, but has no car, no help and three children which makes it impossible to get to any food distribution sites.
Laurie is raising five grandchildren on her own and struggling on a fixed income. Four school-aged children are unable to complete their mandatory schoolwork because they have no computer access. The DeKalb School District has not provided any devices for them but is still requiring that work be completed online. The family does not have transportation, they need food to be delivered because Laurie cannot manage so many children to shop or go to a food distribution location.
Nancy and her husband (70) are raising six grandchildren (aged 11- 18 years) and one great-grandchild who is only 4 months old on a fixed income. They struggle to make ends meet during normal times. They are too high-risk to go to food distribution sites. The children go to Cobb County schools and have online work due, but the school did not provide them with any devices. They need laptop computers.
Jerry is a grandfather raising five children (newborn, 5, 7, 9, 10). His brother was helping with bills but was just laid off from the Marriott where he worked as dishwasher. Jerry is considered high-risk as he has COPD, high blood pressure, and heart failure. He has no transportation and is in need of food.
Betsy is raising two grandchildren, one of which has a significant learning disability. Betsy is recovering from recent colon cancer surgery, so is unable to leave the home due to the high risk of infection in her weakened condition. She is on a fixed income and is desperate need of food for her and her grandchildren.
Vickie is caring for two young grandsons on a fixed income. The family struggles with food insecurity on a regular basis. Her 8 year old grandson has lower immunity due to past organ transplant and she can’t take him out. They need food now.
Joyce is caring for three of her grandchildren by herself. Two of the three have autism. Along with taking care of her grandchildren, Joyce has significant health issues herself which puts her at great risk for infection.