This sounds like a tough time for you. Im not familiar with your area or home prices and rental prices. I would always first advocate home ownership. The stability for you and your children is always going to be your utmost concern. I would definately way the price of renting and home ownership. Can you purchase a home for the same amount you will be renting? You will also have to factor in home insurance and taxes, so take all this in consideration as well as when you own your own home, there is ongoing maintenance, you can't call the landlord, you are the landlord. So with that, I suggest you contact an agent in Macomb and get a good referral to a local lender who can evalute your situation. Then talk to the realtor about rental homes, see which option will work best for you and that you can afford. It's great that your parents are going to assist you with the financing, and without knowing the details of your situation, I would suggest you talk to the lender about your dad losing is job. That might be difficult to get a loan, unless there purely just assisting with downpayment.
Good Luck to you!