Dan Gorenstein

Dan Gorenstein has been a reporter with New Hampshire Public Radio since 2001, when he moved to New Hampshire from the Midwest. He got his start in journalism at the Chicago Reporter; an investigative journal that examines race and class disparities in the Chicago area. He’s won numerous national and local awards, including the Society of Professional Journalist Sigma Delta Chi investigative reporting award. He covers public policy, politics, poverty, and occasionally, subjects that don't start with the letter 'p.' His stories appear frequently on National Public Radio.

Contact

Judy Stoddard, 71, lives in Carver, Mass., but every weekday morning, she picks herself up out of bed and drives to Boston.

"I do the back roads, which gets me there in an hour and 40 minutes," Stoddard says. "I'm exhausted when I get there. I'm exhausted when I come home."

Stoddard drives those back roads for a reason — she can't see out of one eye. But as long as her rent keeps creeping up, she keeps going back to work.

"I can't retire. I want to keep my house. I put a lot of work in this house. I don't want to lose it," she says.

In most places in the U.S., if a parent is charged with abuse or neglect of a child and can't afford a lawyer, he's appointed one. That lawyer's job is to defend the parent and reunite the family if possible.

But faced with a budget shortfall, New Hampshire has taken the unusual step of eliminating that funding.

The court and state officials charged with enforcing the new policy now worry that the lack of representation is hurting parents and their children — and children's advocates are concerned that other states may eventually follow New Hampshire's lead.