Randesha Beck Sherrod had her first child, Divine, at age 18. Even though she was still in high school, she managed to graduate with her class at East Ridge High and eventually moved into her own apartment. About four years later, her second child, a son whom she named Davon, came into the world. This time around, things didn’t flow so smoothly.
“They admitted me to the hospital when I was around 5 months, and I had him at 27 weeks,” she said. “I was miserable because I had to stay in the hospital a couple of months.”
Randesha’s beautiful baby boy was born with cerebral palsy. She said caring for him can be both rewarding and challenging. “It gets hard at times, but I deal with it,” she said, adding that her mother and other family are her support system.
Davon weighs about 50 pounds. Randesha often had to carry him around the apartment where she previously lived. The carpeted floors made it too difficult to maneuver his wheelchair. But, that will soon change when she and her family, which now includes her youngest daughter, Serenity, move into their Habitat home. “They’re making the house roomy enough for my son, so I can easily push him around. He’ll have two closets for storage of his diapers and other (necessities),” she said. Also, her two girls will have their own bedrooms for the very first time.
Randesha said she’s grateful for an opportunity to have all the space her family needs. As a child, she and her four brothers moved around a lot. By the time she was 8, her parents had separated. As an adult, she made a conscious decision to own a home in order to provide a greater sense of stability for her children. “I felt like I was just wasting money by renting because you’ll never own it.” Her Habitat home will be located in The Villages at Alton Park, a community where she recently lived as a renter.
Randesha heard about Habitat from her mother’s friend, a Habitat homeowner. The friend strongly encouraged her to apply. Randesha did pick up an application, but she never turned it in. Years later, after a failed marriage to Serenity’s dad, she decided the time was right to reapply. After being accepted into the program, she and her children moved in with her mother so she could save extra money, pay off debts and better prepare for the responsibilities of homeownership.
When asked what she was most looking forward to, Randesha said she’s simply ready to get settled into her new place. Her firstborn, on the other hand, has big plans. “Divine is ready to paint her room!” And the view will be much sweeter now that she doesn’t have to share it with little sister Serenity. There’s no place like home!
Funding for Randesha Beck Sherrod’s Home provided by:
Rivermont Presybyterian Church
Additional funding, support, services or materials provided by:
Chattanooga Area Volunteers – Daughters of the American Revolution, Chief John Ross Chapter – DOW Chemicals – The Embroiderers’ Guild of America, Chattanooga Chapter – The HART Gallery – Procter & Gamble – Square D – St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church – Two Men and a Truck – Valspar Paint – Whirlpool Corporation – Yale Locks