In New York, there are 131,207 children under the age of 18 that are living not with their parents, but their grandparents, according to the 2010 census — some of those grandparents are Southampton residents.
"Unfortunately, we don't have the statistics on how many Southampton grandparents are raising their grandchildren, but we know there are out there," said Tracy Kolsin, of the Southampton Youth Bureau. "
Kolsin said these grandparents take on the responsibility of raising their kin without question, though they themselves are struggling to make ends meet.
"They don't know that resources are available to them," said Kolsin.
That is why nine years ago, the town created a support group for these grandparents.
The group, made up of a steady 8 members, said Kolsin, helps grandparents discover resources such as health care, financial assistance, or legal advice.
"Of course the primary purpose of the group is support, but hit also offers the opportunity to share experiences and listen to what others have been through — that is what holds the group together," said Kolsin.
Meetings, said Kolsin are held on the second Wednesday of each month at the Hampton Bays Community Center, 25 Ponquogue Avenue, at 6:00 pm.
Free child care is also provided during the meeting by a qualified youth care worker.
For more information please call the Youth Bureau at 702-2421 or senior services at 728-1235.