Leroy and Tameko Washington have experienced many hardships while on their journey to Homeownership. They have experienced homelessness first hand and through the help of Habitat Cabarrus, their hard work and commitment, they will soon own their very own home. When asked what they are looking forward to the most about homeownership, they became emotional and stated stability. “We’ve been through the struggle, now it’s time to enjoy.”
Leroy was born in Columbia, SC. After graduating high school, he became a mechanic. He has worked at several dealerships and has even owned his own mechanic business. Currently, he is a self-employed mechanic and car detailer. Tameko was also born in Columbia, SC. She has been working in the medical field for about fifteen years. She is currently a Medical Technician Supervisor at a Cabarrus County nursing home.
Leroy met Tameko while he was working on her vehicle. They developed a friendship and then began dating. In 2010, they got married and became a blended family. Leroy has six children and ten grandchildren while Tameko has two children and one grandchild on the way. Early on in their marriage, Leroy began to experience some health problems. Unbeknownst to him, he suffered from a stroke while at work. Due to complications from the stroke, it was very difficult for him to work. This loss of income resulted in homelessness for the newlyweds. They would sleep in motels or in their vehicle. This caused them a great deal of stress which led to Leroy suffering from another stroke. Due to not having a stable address, he was unable to participate in the physical therapy ordered by his Dr. because he did not have a stable address for the therapists to come to.
After receiving a job offer in 2015, Leroy re-located to Concord, NC. Once he obtained a residence, he brought Tameko here and she was able to transfer her job. Unfortunately, his job went out of business and the Dr. told him that due to his health, he could no longer work. The Washington’s attempted to receive disability benefits for Leroy but he was denied. He began to suffer from depression because he was no longer able to provide for his family. Upon learning of his denial, Tiffany referred him to NC Works and they referred him to a Rehabilitation Center for testing due to his health. They concur with his Dr. that he should not be working due to his health. They have referred him to a neurologist for further testing.
The rental home they were living in had roof leaks, inadequate electrical and very little insulation. Habit Cabarrus purchased the home they were renting for the Transitional Housing program and rehabbed it. Upon hearing about the program, they became very excited and motivated to work towards fulfilling their dream of homeownership. They reported that they’ve learned so much from being in the Homeownership program. Leroy stated that he learned how to build a house and he is looking forward to being able to maintain his own thanks to all the knowledge he’s received. Tameko says that she benefitted the most from Financial Peace University. She has learned the importance of budgeting and how to prioritize needs vs. wants. “Emergency fund and savings make a big difference,” she says. Since participating in Financial Peace University, they are being more mindful of how they spend their money and how to prepare themselves for the future. They are looking forward to having a stable home with an affordable mortgage payment.