Ms. Erma loves living in her OKC neighborhood. She’s lived in her home for 53 years and has no plans to leave. However, the house is beginning to fall apart around her. Erma’s husband, a former veteran who provided repairs for the house, passed away last year. Now, on her own, Erma has been unable to maintain upkeep. She has tried to do renovations, but her health continually prevents her from doing so.
The home she lives in has been full of children since she moved in. Ms. Erma never had any children of her own, but adopted the four children of her husband of 52 years. Today, this loving great-grandmother spends her time raising her grandson Sherman. Sherman is an 11-year-old with autism, who rules the house. Erma says he is the joy of her life. And he keeps her busy!
But Erma is used to keeping busy. When she and her husband moved to OKC, Erma worked two jobs. She became a licensed CNA and worked late nights at local nursing homes. After getting off at 7a.m. she cleaned homes during the day.
In addition to having the company of Sherman, family and friends are constantly in and out of Ms. Erma’s house. Her daughter and granddaughter often stay extended periods of time. Holidays are celebrated here. Many brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and friends stop by to check on the family on a regular basis.
Erma said having people around all the time can get on her nerves, but it is such a wonderful blessing. She dreams of getting her home fixed up again so she can continue entertaining guests. “I want to stay here the rest of my life,” Ms. Erma said. “My family knows they can come over any time, and they know I will be here. This is home.”
During CapacityCorps MLK Work Week, Rebuilding Together will repair, remodel and renovate her home including painting, placing carpet, installing weatherproof doors and windows, and repairing cracks.