“I believe this is where I need to be at the moment. I’ve never received service like this, with so much care. It’s so refreshing.” ~ Randy
Families who come to UMOM’s family shelter come in all forms, entire families headed by mom and dad, single moms and also single dads.
Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau find more fathers than ever are raising children on their own, making up nearly one in five of all single-parent households. There are two million single fathers in the United States as of 2017, a significant rise from the 1990s.
One of those families is headed by Randy, who recently came to UMOM with his kids to get the help they needed to find a stable place to live. His story inspires us and we hope it provides a perspective on the different types of circumstances that lead to families experiencing homelessness.
When single dad Randy moved from South Carolina to Arizona to live with his fiancée five months ago, he believed he would have happiness and stability he had wanted for a long time. He was able to find a good job he liked in the automotive supply industry and was enjoying his new home.
Then, after a disagreement between the two, Randy’s fiancée packed his bags and kicked him out of the apartment.
He had no place to go, choosing to sleep in the bushes at his place of work while his three children, ages 8, 11 and 12, stayed at his fiancée’s for a few more days as he searched for another home.
Distressed and despondent, Randy considered his options. Should he go back to South Carolina? What about his kids, who he brought clear across the country to start over? While he didn’t feel moving back was in their best interest, Randy wasn’t sure the family had much of a choice.
Randy found UMOM New Day Centers just in time. Once he and his children, Randi, Jason and Randy, Jr. moved into a unit at the main UMOM campus in mid-January, the family began to feel upbeat about their future.
“I believe this is where I need to be at the moment,” he said. “I’ve never received service like this, with so much care. It’s so refreshing.”
Randy and his children have decided they will stay in Arizona. The kids enrolled in a new school and enjoyed their afternoons at the family campus’ Boys and Girls Club. Randy focused his attention on looking for a new job, and with interviews lined up, had no problem landing a good position early this month (February). The next day, he, his daughter and two sons moved into their very own apartment not far from work. He is thankful that things worked out for the best after all.
Randy says it’s like a new beginning. “I feel like this is my chance to make a fresh start.”