Arikka Winston, Detroit

Published on November 29, 2023 in ,

About a year ago, I decided to go back to work but I was having trouble getting back and forth to my job. I got connected to United Way’s Ride United program. The social navigators were very helpful. They made sure I was okay and provided me with resources. It was a great feeling knowing that I had someone in my corner.

Ride United provided free rides to help me get to work and it made the last year of my life pretty convenient and easy. I was able to focus on being a parent to my daughter Nahla instead of focusing on how I was going to get where I was going every day.

If it wasn’t for Ride United, I may have lost my job and Nahla’s placement in daycare, which is an experience she absolutely needs. Earlier this year, I was concerned about her speech, but now she’s the most talkative kid in the class. They absolutely love her. She has tons of friends and every day that I come to pick her up, the teachers always have something exciting to say about her.

Even though Ride United was a short-term solution, it was perfect for me. By saving money on my travel to work, I was able to purchase my own car.

With my new car and independence, I can actually do things like take my daughter to the park. It feels great just to know that I can do things on my own time now. Nahla will be turning four this year, so she’ll be on her way to preschool. Hopefully, that means a lot more adventures. I can take her wherever we want to go; there’s really no limit.

Personally, I absolutely relate to ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). One hard hit or unexpected expense and it is a complete struggle to get back on track. As a mother, there have been times when I have felt like I couldn’t provide for my child and that disturbed me a lot, emotionally and mentally. Whenever I see someone in a similar situation, I make it a point to mention Ride United because it helped me a lot. I hope that United Way can help the next person as much as they helped me.

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