A single mother's journey to affordable homeownership

Mesha Clemons stands with her daughter and grandson in the backyard of her new home

At Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads, we believe everyone deserves a decent place to live. That is why we work with our local community to build safe, affordable homes alongside qualified low-income families. Habitat SHR does not simply give homes away rather we empower hard-working, low-income families to be able to purchase an affordable home and in doing so, build financial stability and improve their own circumstances. Qualified families put in “sweat equity” to build their home and purchase their home with an affordable mortgage once it is complete.
In the spirit of empowering families to rewrite their own circumstances, we will let Mesha tell you her journey towards homeownership in her own words:
“Hello! My name is Tamesha Clemons. I never thought that I would be raising a toddler at 40-years-old, but here I am. Two years ago, my son blessed me with my first grandson named Letrell! Unfortunately, due to some struggles, mom and dad were not able to retain custody and I stepped in! Boy oh boy, having a new little one around really encouraged me to re-evaluate some things. As I reminisced on my life through the years, I really did not want Letrell to have a childhood like his dad. I was a teenage mom and very hardheaded. We were homeless for about six months, then lived in public housing for 8 years. Admittedly I was lazy, rarely worked, and did not care about money management. I was not motivated and I did not have any drive. Thankfully, the Lord guided me to some angels on earth. We began going to church. I began setting goals. I found a good job and eventually moved. It took some time, but I rebuilt my credit and I am stable now. So basically, from age 16 to about 30, there was a lot of falling and getting back up. Now that I have this little one to guide, I am going to make it count. He deserves a safe environment and a responsible caregiver.
Thankfully with Habitats help, we are getting a hand up to move to our permanent home that will be on a less busy street. We all will benefit from a thriving neighborhood and Letrell will be able to meet new friends. If he wants, he can run around and play in our fenced yard until he is asleep on the grass. The great part is that this will be our home, no more renting! This Grandma learned from many errors. I am forever grateful that the Lord came into my life and set me on the path to be able to give my grandson a good life. Every child deserves a happy childhood. Even though now it’s only myself, my daughter, and Letrell. Our home will host many family celebrations; it is my prayer that our family will become close again.
I never knew that the failures I experienced were stepping-stones that prepared me and my family for a brighter future.
Who would imagine, me a former 8 yrs. public housing resident, with poor money management skills, and a domestic abuse survivor would be on her way to buying a home? All I can say is God is good! Keep believing in yourself, keep striving, do not look at your past. Have faith and anything is possible! Habitat made a way for us and we will be forever grateful!””

Charity Name
Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads
Photo Caption
Mesha Clemons stands with her daughter and grandson in the backyard of her new home
Photo Credit
Rainham Rowe