Man gets his dream home with the help of a local organization

Posted at 5:22 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 20:45:32-04

A local organization showed a man that it is never too late to make the dream of becoming a homeowner come true.

Sherman Tatum, an employee at The Mission at Kern County never thought he'd be able to own a home because working for a non-profit limited his income.

When his landlord decided to sell the home he and his wife were renting, life threw him a curve ball and to make ends meet he sold his washer and dryer.

One day he headed to a laundromat nearby and saw a flyer on the wall that changed his life.

"[It] said 'how would you like to own a home on Arvin Street?' and I looked at the address and it was right down the road from where I lived," Tatum said.

The flyer was posted by Habitat for Humanity, an organization that rehabilitates abandoned, foreclosed or donated homes and sells them to low-income families. The organization only asks that the family buying the home help remodel it as a form of down payment, or "sweat equity" as they call it.

Tatum said being able to work on the home he will grow old with his wife in is a blessing.

"I can actually say that I helped build this house, and that means the world to me," Tatum said.

He said he can't wait until his home is finished so that he can throw a big house warming party for his family and host Thanksgiving dinner this year. 

Tatum's main priority, however, is turning one of the rooms into an office where his ministry can work from to feed the community.

Habitat for Humanity is able to make becoming a homeowner an attainable goal around Kern County with the help of volunteers.

Eric Mosby, Habitat for Humanity's construction supervisor said the volunteers are the glue that holds the whole operation together.

"Some of these volunteers when they get here they're chomping at the bit. They want to get to work and that's what it's all about," Mosby said.

The organization gives second chances to those who donate their time by teaching them a trade and putting it to use in the homes they remodel, like Tatum's. Mosby believes that there is great power in working together.

"There's a lot of big hearts here in town, and that's why I like Bakersfield. It's a great community and if everybody would just come together, we could change this whole town," Mosby said.