Carla and Melvin
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.
Carla moved to Kannapolis when she was six years old. Three months after moving to Kannapolis, her mother passed away from sickle cell anemia and her grandparents became her guardians. Carla wrote a children’s book called “Let’s Take Some Time to Learn Through Rhymes,” and it was published in 2013. She is an associate minister at Smith Chapel Apostolic Holiness church and works for Cabarrus County Schools in the McKinney-Vento program which assists homeless children. She transports children to and from school so that they can remain in their current school. Being able to remain at the same school provides some stability during a time when the child’s life is not stable due to homelessness or foster care.
Carla can relate to the students she works with because she has been displaced herself. Carla was in a toxic relationship, and her ex forced her to leave the home, causing her to be displaced from 2002-2005. More recently, Carla and one of her good friends were both struggling financially. Carla decided to leave her apartment and move in together with her friend so that they could help each other out by reducing living expenses. Unfortunately, once her friend began to date someone, she asked her to leave her home and she was once again displaced from 2012-2014. She was very grateful to be able to stay with church members until she was able to move into an apartment. Her small one bedroom apartment only has one exit as there is no back door and all of the windows are boarded up.
Melvin is from China Grove, NC. Due to a childhood injury, Melvin suffered some brain damage and sometimes has a hard time processing things. He has five children, three who reside in North Carolina and his youngest two reside in Virginia. Deeply saddened by a failed relationship, Melvin left Virginia to move back to North Carolina. While Melvin was in Virginia, his ex would take his money and spend it all so when he returned, he did not have anything. He was homeless from 2012 to 2015. Thankfully, he was able to live with family during that time. When he finally found an apartment and moved in, he realized that the roof was caving in as well as many other issues. Regardless of his requests, the landlord would not resolve any of the issues.
Carla’s best friend met Melvin and thought he would be the perfect match for Carla so she gave him her number. Melvin called Carla on February 13, 2015 and they met for the first time in person on Valentine’s Day. Melvin prayed and asked God for specific things in a wife such as being willing to go with him to church, love the Lord, able to be patient with him and able to cook. Carla met every one of the things that he prayed for and this is how he knew that she would be his wife. She has been patient with him and helped him learn how to do more on his own. Melvin and Carla also both minister at Avante Nursing Home together each month, and he loves her cooking! Melvin and Carla got married in September 2015. They moved in together and he was able to leave the horrible conditions in his apartment. Melvin’s life has definitely changed for the better since meeting Carla. And Carla loves that they complement each other so well. They applied for the homeownership program in 2016 and together have earned over 1100 sweat equity hours! They are truly a dynamic duo.
Melvin and Carla are looking forward to purchasing their new Habitat home and especially looking forward to their children no longer having to sleep on the floor when they come to visit them. They have seven grandchildren and another on the way. To finally have a stable, safe and permanent home to call their own is truly going to be a dream come true for them that will have a lasting effect on their entire family.