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.