Monthly Archives: November 2015

Randesha Beck Sherrod – Rivermont Presbyterian Church – Completed

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARandesha 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

Mouzon & Mary Alice Peters Memorial Build – Kamesha Good – Completed

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Kamesha Good (Center) with (L to R) Dennis Neal, Doug Warner, Sandra Warner and Dave Butler

Kamesha Good (Center) with (L to R) Dennis Neal, Doug Warner, Sandra Warner and Dave Butler

Kamesha Good has no sad stories to tell.  She and her 8 year old son Myles are living a life of gratitude and are thankful for all of the blessings on their horizon.

Born and raised in Chattanooga, Kamesha and Myles formerly lived in a studio apartment riddled with mildew and poor air quality. The unhealthy living conditions mad it hard for Myles, an asthmatic, to breathe and causes frequent nose bleeds.  Kamesha had to work double time to afford the equipment necessary to improve and control the air quality of her home, as well as to pay for the regular doctors’ visits, where Myles received breathing treatments, “I called him the ‘Co-pay Kid’,” she says. A mother’s love and concern for the health and well-being of her son was Kamesha’s motivation to provide “a place where he could breathe easy.”

Having heard about Habitat from a co-worker, who is now a Habitat homeowner, Kamesha ultimately saw an opportunity to improve the health and housing of her family through Habitat’s homeownership program. Empowered by the vision of a new and healthy home, and encouraged by the zero-interest financing, she took on a second job, cleaned up her finances, and applied to Habitat, “This is a stepping stone…I appreciate everything Habitat has to offer.”

Now, as a Partner Family, Kamesha is committed to fulfilling her sweat equity hours and is anticipating helping to build her new house. She agrees that nothing is being given to her, except the opportunity to work towards being a homeowner, “this is not a hand out; it’s a hand up.” A big proponent of volunteerism, she finds time to volunteer and donate to various charities around Chattanooga. Being a volunteer gives her an even greater appreciation for the “awesome” volunteers that will be giving of their time, resources, and effort to build her home.

Once in her new house, Kamesha looks forward to scaling back to one job and going back to school, “This is just the beginning, and there’s more to come…through God, all things are possible.”

Kamesha and Myles’ Home was built

in Memory of Mouzon and Mary Alice Peters

thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Doug Warner

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

Square D

State Farm Insurance -Hamilton Co. Agents

St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church

Two Men and a Truck

Valspar Paint

Whirlpool Corporation

Yale Locks

 

LeShundria Nelson – City of Chattanooga – Completed

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IMG_2622LeShundria Nelson wasn’t interested in living in Alton Park. In fact, she had spent “half her whole life there” visiting at her grandmother’s house. And after her parents’ divorce, she and her three siblings moved to Emma Wheeler Homes in that same community. So who would have guessed that several years down the road, she would be well on her way to becoming the first Habitat homeowner to live inside The Villages at Alton Park? The more LeShundria thought about it, this could be the perfect place for her family to call home.

She and daughters Timeya, 17, and Londyn, 6, had to move into her father’s one bedroom apartment after their rental home became too much to handle. “The house was older and not (well) insulated,” said LeShundria, who has worked at McKee Bakery for 14 years. “The light bills were super high in that house, and it was cold in the wintertime. There was mold and mildew in the bathroom. It was just too expensive to stay there and keep things up.”

So LeShundria is quite content with her decision to come full circle and return to Alton Park – this time as a homeowner. She had previously applied for a Habitat house when Timeya was smaller, but didn’t follow through with the application process. “I was young and wasn’t really ready,” she said. “They (the Habitat staff) told me I needed to pay off one bill and then come back.” But, she never did.

Oddly enough, Timeya’s grandmother would  casually mention Habitat to LeShundria years later.  She just knew she couldn’t let this opportunity pass her by a second time around. So she got her affairs in order, and was eventually accepted into the program. She soon heard Habitat was coming to The Villages. Her mother, who once owned a hair salon in Alton Park, encouraged her to attend a Lunch & Learn event to get all the details. “The presentation hooked my mother before it got me,” LeShundria says.

But after the ladies left the Lunch & Learn, they drove to the site where the future Habitat homes would be built. That’s when LeShundria had a change of heart. “It’s pretty back there,” she said. “I’m excited to get out of my daddy’s house. It’s so hard living with someone else” – especially since her father frowns upon the use of air-conditioning in the warmer months!

LeShundria ran into a couple of detours along the path to homeownership, but now she, Timeya and Londyn are almost home!

 

Funding for the Nelson Home provided by:

City of Chattanooga, Office of Economic and Community Development, Andy Berke, Mayor

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

 

Square D

 

State Farm Insurance -Hamilton Co. Agents

 

St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church

 

Two Men and a Truck

 

Valspar Paint

 

Whirlpool Corporation

 

Yale Locks

Rivermont Presbyterian Church – Candace Howard – Completed

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RivermontCandace Howard is a woman with a plan.  Homeownership through Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area is high on her list of things to do before the age of 30

A stable neighbor and resident of the same community for the past seven years, it has never quite felt like home. Candace is ready to take charge of her housing and make a home for her family.

A Chattanooga native, Candace grew up in a loving and supportive home with a mother who worked hard to provide a stable environment for her five daughters. After graduating from Howard High School and attending Middle Tennessee State University, she was blessed to give birth to her son Cordell and found a place to live and raise her family. Through the years, Candace grew increasingly discontented with the woes of renting and desired to have a backyard for her son to play in, “Comfort, security, and peace of mind is what a house means to me.”  Thus, her tireless quest to become a homeowner began.

She first tried the traditional route with a realtor; however, she could not find a house that she could afford that was decent. But Candace didn’t give up, “I knew I would not be a renter forever; it was just a matter of what road to take.” Through continued research, she found Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area’s homeownership program.

Candace believes that the Habitat for Humanity path to homeownership is “an experience that every homeowner should have.” She has been telling everyone about Habitat and the commitment level necessary to achieve homeownership through the program, “A lot of people have the misconception that we are being handed a home and that is not so…I feel if more people went through programs like this there would be fewer foreclosures and people would know and want to take (better) care of their property.” Candace’s ambitious nature is paying off in big ways. Not only is she about to become a first-time homeowner, but she continues to lovingly raise her son while working full-time, attending college part-time, and growing her grass-roots business as co-owner of an event planning company. When asked what will be the first thing she does after moving in, she responded, “The first thing I will do is exhale, thank God, and prepare for my next journey. I plan to be a successful business owner, so there will be no slowing down for me.”

 

 

Candace and Cordell’s Home is the 16th built in Chattanooga through

the generous financial  support of long-term Habitat partners

Rivermont Presbyterian Church

 

Additional funding, support, Services or Materials provided by:

Church Koinonia Federal Credit Union

Chattanooga Area Volunteers

Daughters of the American Revolution, Chief John Ross Chapter

DOW Chemicals

The Embroiderers’ Guild of America, Chattanooga Chapter

The HART Gallery

Square D

State Farm Insurance -Hamilton Co. Agents

St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church

Two Men and a Truck

Valspar Paint

Whirlpool Corporation

Yale Locks

Kori Wyatt – Alling Family – Completed

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Hard working, generous, kind, determined. These traits all describe Kori Wyatt perfectly. Kori has always had to work hard for the things she’s wanted in life. Having her first daughter, Kayunna, at the tender age of 16, she knew she had to do everything she could to provide for her family. Kori was an  excellent student and enjoyed academia, so  graduating high school was a top priority for her. She was even offered scholarships to multiple colleges! But because of the struggles of raising her young daughter and moving into her first apartment, she decided to put college on hold.

Kori knew that someday she wanted to become a homeowner because of the difficulties she had  experienced growing up in rental apartments –witnessing violence in the neighborhood, problematic landlords, and the need for extensive home repairs. She was determined to provide abetter opportunity for her family so she started researching Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program. She quickly realized that this would be the perfect opportunity for her growing family.

Kori loves to attend Habitat’s homeowner education classes – even recording them so her fiancé, Willie, can listen and learn, too! She says she loves the encouraging environment that HabiChatt cultivates. But finding time for her “sweat equity” hours – between caring for her family and working full time- has not been easy. “I’m definitely learning time management skills,” she says. Not only is she working toward getting her house, she’s also working toward earning her degree in Health Information Technology from Devry!

On top of that, she finds time to spend with her daughters, Kayunna, and Emari, and her soon-to-be stepson, Willie. Although this season of her life is hectic, Kori is excited to see all her hard work come to fruition. She’ll be moving to The Villages at Alton Park – just a few streets from here she’s currently renting.

Kori can’t wait to start helping with construction on her Habitat home. “I’ll be able to say that I helped build my own home. I’ll be able to have my family over, and it will feel like a home,” she says. But there is one thing she is most excited about: “Only smelling the food that I cook and not my neighbors’ cooking!”

Kori is thankful to HabiChatt, her family and, her friends for the support they’ve shown along her journey.

Now, she’s almost home!

 

Funding for Kori Wyatt’s Home provided by:

The Alling Family

 

 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

Kenneth McCullogh – City of Chattanooga – Thrivent Financial – Completed

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Kenneth “Kenney” McCullough has always wanted to make his mom proud, especially for the determination and strength it took for her to raise five boys all by herself. And going through the process of becoming a Habitat homeowner is the perfect way to demonstrate his diligence and dedication.

Kenney and his brothers were born and raised here in Chattanooga. He grew up in Alton Park where he will be returning once his Habitat home is finished in The Villages at Alton Park.

Kenney said he has gone through different struggles in his life, but it’s only taught him that life is too great a gift to settle. He grew up watching his mom work two jobs in order to take care of the family. He said he appreciates all that she has done for him and his brothers.

After enduring some tough times, Habitat has really been a light onto Kenney’s path. These days, his mother’s smile is also brighter now that he’s well on his way to becoming a first-time homeowner!

“By being in the program, it made me feel alive again. I felt like I was dying before. I’ll finally have a decent place to live,” he said. “It gave me hope that I could live a decent life with a home I can afford. It picked my spirits up.”

The most exciting part of completing this journey, Kenney said, is “to be able to turn the key to my own door, walk through my own home, eat dinner at my own house, and to be in a place I can call home. It’s a dream come true!”  He’s also excited about the prospect of creating art for his new home as Kenney is a very talented artist who has big visions for what the inside will look like as well.

Going through the process of becoming a homeowner hasn’t always been easy, Kenney admitted.

“The most challenging part about being in the program is struggling to get in (to the Office) and do the hours,” he said. “But if you want something bad enough, you will bear through it. I keep        visualizing the outcome, and I know it will all be worth it in the end.”

Kenney said his personal ambition, along with the  admiration of his mother’s hard work, is what keeps him going. And, he’s looking forward to his Habitat Dedication where he can see his mom’s smile shine even brighter!

 

Funding for Kenney’s Home Provided by:

City of Chattanooga, Office of Economic and Community Development, Andy Berke, Mayor

 

Southeast Tennessee Northwest Georgia Chapter, Thrivent Financial®

Members of Chattanooga Area Lutheran Congregations:

Ascension Lutheran Church

Christ the King Lutheran Church

Cross of Christ Lutheran Church

Faith Lutheran Church

First Lutheran Church

First Lutheran Church (Cleveland)

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Resurrection Lutheran Church

Trinity Lutheran Church

Belvoir Christian Academy

 

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

 

 

 

Shauntel Beard – City of Chattanooga – Completed

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AAABlue, green, yellow and orange. These are the colors Shauntel Beard’s boys – Jaylen, 8, and Kingston, 6, – have picked for “their” bathroom. “They’re really excited because they get to do what they want – in their eyes,” Shauntel said, adding that the brothers also have plans for a basketball rim at their future Habitat home.

Jaylen and Kingston are what keep Shauntel motivated to achieve as much as she can. “If it weren’t for my kids, there’s no telling where I’d be,” she said. “I wake up and look at them and they’re looking back at me saying, ‘Mama I want some Jordan’s,’ so I have to get up and go!”

Raised by a single mom herself, growing up wasn’t always easy for Shauntel. The family moved from Alton Park to North Chattanooga and eventually settled in the Bushtown community after Shauntel’s mother became a proud Habitat homeowner.

Then at age 17, Shauntel learned she was pregnant. But, this didn’t slow her down one bit. She continued to work part-time at McDonald’s and went on to graduate from Brainerd High. Shortly after that, she secured a job at Erlanger Health System in the Dietary Department and later at the hospital’s Chick-fil-A. “My supervisor fired me because he said my potential was too high,” Shauntel explains.

Turns out, that manager was right! Getting let go was a blessing in disguise. It only motivated Shauntel to enroll at Chattanooga College, where she earned her medical assistant certification. And today, she is putting her education into practice as a staff member at the UT Erlanger Respiratory, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine office. She said of her former fast-food boss, “He congratulates me every time he sees me, and even says I can come back to Chick-fil-A and work part time.”

The sky is the limit for Shauntel. And the excitement of becoming a homeowner builds day by day. She and the boys drive by their lot every Sunday after church to sneak a peek. “I’m doing this by the grace of God. It’s hard with my job, the boys in school and them playing sports.” Yet, Shauntel manages to keep it all together with help from family, friends and Habitat. “Everybody here has been so welcoming. Nobody looks down on you or criticizes you for needing a little help. When we’re down, you all give us encouragement.” That’s what Habitat is all about!

Funding for the Nelson Home provided by:

City of Chattanooga, Office of Economic and Community Development, Andy Berke, Mayor

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

Square D

State Farm Insurance -Hamilton Co. Agents

St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church

Two Men and a Truck

Valspar Paint

Whirlpool Corporation

Yale Locks