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.