Raising kids as a single parent is hard enough. Fighting every day to keep them, and keep them safe, is the hardest thing Michael has ever done. Thankfully, United Way and its network of partners were there to help. After a long, consuming custody battle, Michael was finally awarded full custody of his two children. But, just as his children came to live with him, Michael lost his job. He struggled to provide for his children and maintain his home, but without an income, he just couldn’t keep up. Before Michael knew it, he and his kids were out on the street. Without a support system or family who could help, Michael and the kids were on their own. Michael wanted a better life for his children, so he turned to United Way for help. Immediately, a United Way funded partner helped Michael find temporary housing for his family. Things were looking up—and then Michael became disabled. Michael worried that his disability might prevent him from caring for his children, or worse, put them back on the street. “Every father wants a home and safety for their children,” Michael says. “When my own family wasn't there for me, United Way was there to help us.” With help from United Way and our partners, Michael and his children moved into a permanent home. The family received help with basic needs, like food and clothing, and other assistance, such as school supplies for the kids. Michael even participated in parenting classes to learn how to become an even better father to his children. At United Way, we know that stronger families mean a stronger community and a stronger future for us all. We help families, like Michael’s, move from surviving to thriving.