Tameko and Leroy
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.
Dedication Date: February 25, 2020
Many of us are only a few missed pay periods away from having no place to lay our heads down at night. Melissa knows that feeling all too well. After experiencing domestic violence in her relationship, she left and moved into Cabarrus Victims Assistance Network (CVAN) with her son while he was an infant. She vowed then that her family would never be homeless again. This situation pushed Melissa to work hard and strive for success. Melissa currently lives in subsidized housing through the Section 8 program.
The house that she is renting now has multiple issues and they are listed below:
- The floor sinking under the washer because of leaky plumbing
- Kitchen window is covered with Plexiglass
- Windows in the basement are broken and critters enter, such as rodents and cats
- The neighborhood is ridden with crime and drugs
- Mold in the bathroom and under the floor in the laundry room
Melissa wants to have a better, more stable future for herself and her children. She heard about Habitat for Humanity Cabarrus through some of her friends who were in the Homeownership program. After earning her sweat equity and taking the Dave Ramsey financial literacy classes, Melissa feels that she is now equipped with the tools to become a homeowner. She has made a few friends during this process that have truly helped her. Her new home will provide her with more stability, and it will allow her children and future grandkids to have a safe place to visit.
Melissa is originally from Arizona and moved to Cabarrus County when she was in the 4th grade. She has two children ages 20 and 16. She is also excited about being able to teach her children about working hard to get what they want and to never give up on their dreams.
Dedication Date: December 11, 2019
Shermesha has always made sacrifices and has worked very hard to provide for her family. She has three children, Maleik (22), Kenijhae (15) and Ke’niah (11). Shermesha has been living on her own since the age of 17, when she got her first apartment. She was a teen mother who was pregnant during her senior year in high school. When she was seven months pregnant, her children’s father was arrested due to violating his probation. Due to this, he was not able to support her or be around until her oldest child was one year old.
Tragedy struck when her children’s father passed away when her youngest child was only two months old. As a newly single mother, Shermesha reached out for support and found out that her children were ineligible to receive any survivor benefits from Social Security. Shermesha did her best to raise her family on her own. There were times when she could not afford to keep the utilities turned on and would have to send the children to a family member’s home until she could afford to get them reconnected.
Shermesha and her family currently receive subsidized housing through Section 8. Shermesha has dreamt of becoming self-sufficient and owning her own home one day for a very long time. Shermesha truly wants to have a forever home for her children that they will be able to remain in even when she leaves this earth. She heard about the Habitat for Humanity homeownership program through Heather (current homeowner). Shermesha was very excited about it and was praying to be selected for the program. She was officially selected into the homeownership program in June 2017.
Since being in the program Shermesha has continued to deal with adversity. Her father, who resides in Winston-Salem, has been in and out of the hospital and doctors had been unclear as to what was ailing him. Recently, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has been given a year to live. Shermesha states that the property management company that manages her rental home is unresponsive to maintenance complaints. To avoid any further issues with them, she uses knowledge gained from Habitat Cabarrus’ training classes to make her own repairs.
Shermesha reports that her biggest takeaway since becoming a future homeowner with Habitat Cabarrus has been to understand the discipline it takes to complete the program. Rain or shine, sleet or snow, she must show up each Saturday and work to build houses as if they were her own. She states that she has ceased participating in most leisure activities and social events to be able to focus on meeting her goals and meeting the Habitat program requirements. Shermesha has demonstrated an exemplary work ethic both at the construction sites and at the Habitat ReStore. She completed her sweat equity hours on July 29, 2018 and stated that it was the best feeling ever.
Shermesha and her children are looking forward to moving to their new home and having a fresh start. Her family now has hope for the future because of being offered a hand up to become a homeowner. She currently feels as if she is carrying the world on her shoulders and she is looking forward to closing old doors and opening new ones. Shermesha currently works as a Certified Nursing Assistant in Concord. Once she becomes a Habitat homeowner, she plans to focus on going back to school to become a nurse. Her greatest satisfaction from being in the Habitat homeownership program is that she has been able to follow through on a commitment. Throughout her life, she’s begun many tasks that she has been unable to complete. Since being selected for the program, she has not let anything stand in the way of her goal to become a homeowner.
Dedication Date: June 18, 2019
Jackie has overcome many obstacles in her life and has a story to tell. There was a time in her life when she worked full time, was a full-time student all while raising her four children on her own. Over the years she and her children experienced homelessness more than once. Jackie has always wanted her own home and attempted to do so through several programs. Her finances were a barrier for her each time, but she never gave up hope that one day her dream would become a reality.
Dedication Date: December 18, 2018
Sharnise aka “Lil Bit,” as our Site Supervisor calls her, may be small but she packs much power. Her determination to be able to provide a better life for her children is what led her to Habitat Cabarrus. She currently rents a two bedroom house in Kannapolis. She is concerned about the many issues with the house. There is lead paint on the interior and exterior of the house which can significantly impact the health of her and her children. The home lacks insulation which makes it difficult to keep her heating and cooling costs down. The home has mold which also aggravates the health of her and her children. They have experienced insects coming into the house through the range hood. There are also holes in the closet walls that allow rodents to enter. There are also security issues in her rental home. This is due to having door locks on both entrance doors that are in poor condition, the windows being painted shut and a front door that does not close completely.
Sharnise currently works as a Data entry/Customer Service clerk for Decision Path and S&D Coffee and Tea. Sharnise is a single mother of three children, incuding Kameron who is ten years old, Kylee who is eight years old and her daughter Kalyni who is two years old. Sharnise is really looking forward to homeownership. She is mostly looking forward to the better life that she knows she we will have being a homeowner. She will finally be able to own something that she can leave to her children one day. Her children are very excited to have their own space because they are currently sharing a room. Sharnise says that she has never been outside of North Carolina and that her ultimate goal is to travel one day. Sharnise is beyond grateful for this opportunity and shows it every time she is on the construction site. She is one of the most reliable and hardworking future homeowners currently in the program.
Dedication Date: November 13, 2018
Zula currently lives in a small rental home that has little insulation, which makes it hard to heat in the winter and hard to cool in summer. Due to this, Zula is paying over $400 per month on average for utilities. The bathroom has mold and the home is constantly invaded by ants. The trees surrounding the house are in need of care and look dangerous to Zula. She has worked for two years to become financially qualified for the homeownership program. Her cost of rent and utilities add up to roughly 60% of her income.
Zula has spent her whole life caring for others and continues to daily. She is from Kannapolis and she works at the Logan Community Day Care Center. She has three adult children and seven grandchildren. She usually has her twelve and fourteen year old grandchildren with her due to their parents busy work schedule.
Zula cared for her parents until they passed away as she did not want to take them to a nursing home. Her mother passed away in 2004 and her father passed away in 2013. Unfortunately, she found him dead in her home one day after work. After he passed away she started working towards getting in the program with her daughter’s encouragement because she knew that her father would want her to continue her dream. Zula states that she gives God all the glory for this opportunity.
Carla and Melvin
Dedication Date: June 12, 2018
At any time, any one of us could be in a position where we are left homeless. Carla and Melvin both have a heart of gold that they bless others with daily and are so happy to be able to receive their blessing of a home to call their own through the Habitat Cabarrus Homeownership program.
Dedication Date: May 22, 2018
Paditra’s journey began in Wilkesboro, NC. She was a loving wife and a devoted mother of three children but began to experience turmoil in her home due to domestic violence caused by her husband. He even began to mistreat the children. At that moment in her life, she decided to take her children, drive to Salisbury and move into a battered women’s shelter where her and her children would be safe.
Dedication Date: April 14, 2018
The 2017 CommUNITY Build new home will be for Latasha, her 14-year- old daughter and her son’s two-year-old daughter. Latasha currently lives in Concord and is looking for a change of scenery and a fresh start from her current situation.