From Next Avenue:
At 16, LeDrue Jackson is busy with his studies and basketball. An honor roll student-athlete, Jackson and his brother Marvez, 14, are coming of age in Pemberton Park in Kansas City, Mo. where they live with their grandmother, Marla Scott, 65. They were among the first families to move into this grandfamily housing there when it opened six years ago.
“Where we lived before was not good at all. I love it here,” said LeDrue Jackson, a high school sophomore. “And I love my grandma. She makes sure we have everything we need and are doing good every day.”
Scott, a retired school truant office, is busy supervising homework, doing laundry and making her famous macaroni and cheese for her grandsons. She has been a steady presence in their lives since her daughter “went into a tailspin” after losing a baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
“I had not intended to be raising children, but my health is good and these boys keep me on my toes. I’m grateful for these relationships,” she said. “I’ve seen families break up and it’s extremely important to me that we stick together. They need to know who and where they come from.”
Developed by the Housing Authority of Kansas City, the 36 units in Pemberton Park were thoughtfully planned to accommodate older and younger generations. Apartments feature child locks and window guards along with grab bars and step-in showers.
Read Next Avenue's article "A Home for Grandfamilies," featuring the Housing Authority of Kansas City, MO.