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At a very young age, Matias lost his father to gun violence. While mourning the loss of her son, Ms. Vonhoupe never thought twice about stepping in to raise Matias. Children’s Law Center helped Ms. Vonhoupe secure a court order for legal custody and also helped her sign up for the grandparent subsidy program, which provides financial assistance for low-income grandparents raising their grandchildren.
Unfortunately, the DC government did not fully fund the grandparent subsidy program in 2009 and Ms. Vonhoupe was on the waiting list. Children’s Law Center advocated with the Mayor and the DC Council to fully fund the program and Ms. Vonhoupe was the star witness at the DC Council hearing. Our joint advocacy increased funding for the program and Ms. Vonhoupe will soon be eligible for financial assistance.
“I love my grandson so much, and it hurts me that I cannot even give him the basic things that every child needs. Without help, I do not know how I will continue to make it. The subsidy would help me to give him food and clothes, and to support his daily needs. It would help me to give him a better life, childhood, and future. Currently, my grandson is unable to participate in extracurricular activities like karate, swimming, and acting because I cannot afford them. After paying for food and clothes, I would use the subsidy to help pay for some of these activities.”
– Excerpt from Ms. Vonhoupe’s testimony before the DC Council
“[My lawyer] is nicer than a cake.”
7 years old