MPW.65 / Trenton The Caregiver by Samantha Goresh
Photographer
Samantha Goresh Boston, Massachusetts
Team Cliff & Vi

Story Summary

“I went from being George’s daughter, to Duane’ s wife, to Shelly and James’s mother, to the boys’ grandmother. I have never had Debbie time.”

Debbie Harding, 51, is raising her three grandsons, Austin, 9, Alex, 6, and Beau, 2 while her son, James, 27, and daughter, Michelle, 31, are in jail. Debbie has been taking care of James’ sons, Austin and Alex, since they were less than a year old. James has been in and out of jail for possession of marijuana, and violations of his parole since his sons were young.

Debbie’s daughter Michelle, Beau’s mother, has battled drug addiction since she was 14 years old when an older cousin would get her high, and molest her. Her addiction continued after that cousin went to jail. She got clean two years ago when she found out she was pregnant with Beau, but instead of facing the charges against her for writing bad checks, she and her husband ran.