Habitat’s newest homeowner: ‘This is God’s story’
Published 3:00 am Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Shermon and Marquetta Williams received the keys to their new home Sunday surrounded by community supporters and volunteers who helped build the house in conjunction with Troy-Pike Habitat for Humanity.
Shermon described his journey toward getting the house.
“I came from a dysfunctional family,” he said. “I spent 10 years in prison. When I got out, I started coaching baseball at the rec center and through that I met a man named David Nelson. He talked to me about God and I started going to church. God put people in my life that helped me get this house and where I am today. I never thought I’d be here. This is a God story.”
Williams had already begun working on houses with habitat for Humanity when someone mentioned that he should apply for a house. He did, and his family was selected.
Mellissa Mikul, president of Troy-Pike Habitat for Humanity, explained that three things are taken into account when choosing a family.
The first thing that must be shown is a need for the house. Williams said he is currently living in an unsafe neighborhood.
“There’s a lot shooting over there, you know, a lot of violence,” he said. “You can’t leave nothing outside or people will steal it.”
Next, applicants must show the ability to pay, as the house is not free. The Williams family signed a symbolic mortgage at the dedication that detailed the cost. The family will pay a $500 down payment on the house and pay $700 a month for about 20 years with no interest rate.
Finally, applicants must be willing to work with the organization to put in “sweat equity” working on other projects. Shermon has put in 500 hours with Habitat for Humanity, including the hours he put in building his new house alongside volunteers.
“It’s been a privilege to work with the Williams family,” Mikul said at the dedication. “If you spend any time around Shermon, you’ll know that he loves God and he loves his family.”
Shermon and Marquetta, along with their three children Laquisha, Laquavin and Damien, entered their new home first. Friends and supporters followed to celebrate with the family.
Shermon still coaches baseball at the rec, and works as a janitor for First Baptist Church and First United Methodist Church.
“God just keeps me surrounded with good people,” he said.