Diane’s* life changed dramatically in spring 2011. The mother of four adult children, she suddenly found herself caring for her granddaughters, three year old Talisha and six month old Tameka, when their mother, Natalie, couldn’t anymore.

Natalie’s struggles with drugs and other issues had long made parenting difficult for her; Diane had raised Natalie’s fourteen year old son Deshawn since he was a baby. But now, with a busy work schedule and no one to take care of her granddaughters, she had to find child care for them that would still allow her to buy groceries and pay her bills.

For several months, Diane struggled to find friends and neighbors to care for Talisha and Tameka while she worked, paying them out-of-pocket and falling behind on her utilities and household expenses. During this time, she learned about Baring House Crisis Nursery from a friend and started her granddaughters in the program. “It was the best thing ever!” she remembers with a wide smile. “It has a safe, playful atmosphere. The staff are excellent, and they genuinely care about the children.”

She began catching up on the bills that had piled up and was able to work more hours at her job as a caretaker for seniors. Diane knew that Baring House was a safe place for her grandchildren to be.

With the help of YSI’s staff she was able to find the girls a day care that would be paid for through the financial assistance she had worked to obtain. They now had a child care center they could attend long term! While Diane knows that Talisha and Tameka are sad to leave Baring House behind, she is appreciative of the role it has played in her granddaughters’ young lives:

“Baring House is a beginning for children. It’s comfort outside of home; it’s learning. Every child should have this kind of environment, and some people can’t afford to pay for it. I hope that Baring House will stay open for the next person. The next person will need it.”

*All client names have been changed to protect their privacy. All photographs are reprinted with permission of the subjects and do not illustrate specific stories.