Meet Tameka

Getting outside and experiencing the world is especially important for Tameka’s youngest son, Patrick (8). Just three years ago he was identified as special needs and now Tameka and her family are learning how to support this amazing young autistic child.

“I can’t wait to send my kids outside to play in our new neighborhood”, says Tameka with a big grin. “Right now I don’t trust where we live, so we pretty much just keep to ourselves in order to stay safe.” 

Patrick’s sensory stimulus disorder makes it difficult for him to experience things outside of his routine. "Home" for Patrick is anything but normal. Tameka and her family work hard to maintain stability in their current situation, but things are constantly breaking and leaking. It's hard to keep up with an apartment that is falling apart - and in this volatile housing market, it's all she can afford. She craves the safety and stability of a Habitat home.

Tameka was first introduced to Habitat more than two years ago. She saw the power of Habitat and thought to herself, “I could do that!” Time passed, though, and she never got around to filling out an application - yet the seed had been planted. 

It took inspiration and encouragement from her cousin Camilla, a local leader in the Southside neighborhood, to take the big next step and fill out an application. Camilla has witnessed first-hand the impact of Habitat on her neighborhood.  She's seen rapid development and change in her neighborhood, and as a result has become an important supporter and advocate for Durham Habitat as we build much-needed affordable housing in Southside.

Once the application was in, Tameka was off and running down the path to home ownership. She and her older son Taquan (20) started the program and flew through their first 100 sweat equity volunteer hours. It wasn’t long before Tameka and her family were called to select the lot for their new 4-bedroom home. 

She was brought to tears when she found out she was being considered for a Home Builders Blitz project this June. Blitz homes are built, start to finish, in just one week! Durham Habitat partners with local professional builders who donate the materials and expertise to complete the project in such a short time frame.

While it can be challenging to be a Blitz home buyer (you have to finish your sweat equity "down payment" more quickly) this has certainly not discouraged Tameka! She has rearranged her schedule so that she is volunteering on the Habitat work site several days a week. Taquan and Tamira (10), along with Patrick, are right there with her. 

“This is just the beginning for me”, said Tameka, flashing a big smile. She has future plans to go back to school once she is in her new home. Building strength and self-reliance with our partner families is what Durham Habitat is all about.

We are grateful to partner with Tameka and her family and can’t wait to see the future that is built with this stable environment to call home. We invite you to join a Durham Habitat partnership. Click here to volunteer or donate! Click HERE to follow construction on Tameka’s home!

Habitat Success Stories

Growing up in East Durham, Tora saw the neighborhood decline and bounce back. She was excited to partner with the Streets at Southpoint and Belk to build and purchase her own home in East Durham -- making her part of the neighborhood's revitalization.

Tora