Volunteer Spotlight: Jim Tatman

Four years ago, a nice gentleman walked into our office and said, “I’d like to volunteer.”  It was Jim Tatman.

Jim is a retired school teacher and retired for a second time from a trophy shop.  He relocated to Elkhart County from Columbus, Ohio, to be nearer to his daughters and grandsons, who live in Elkhart County and Chicago. 

Jim was looking for something to do where he could lend his skills and his time, and he did so in a big way!  He has led all of the Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County volunteers by having the most construction hours in 2014, 2015, and 2016!

 Jim is great at doing anything that needs to be done in construction.  He is an exceptional painter, and enjoys doing more of it on the side, too. 

Having grown up in the Columbus, Ohio area, Jim is an avid Ohio State University fan.  He attends several games a year. 

jimThank you Jim Tatman, for being the wonderful person you are.  You inspire others with your gentle grace!

Johnson Family Spotlight


Charissa Johnson has always wanted to provide a safe and stable home for her son, Jayveon (6).  They currently live in an apartment in Elkhart, and Charissa has some concerns about the neighborhood.  “Our apartment has been broken into three times and there was a murder next door,” she states, “Last week there was a cop chase through the backyard.”  c-johnson-family

 Charissa first learned about Habitat’s Homeownership Program while babysitting for another Habitat Homeowner.   Charissa didn’t think she would qualify, but her mother pushed her to apply.  “I’ve always had a dream of owning my own house, but being a single mother there’s no way,” Charissa said. She applied last fall despite these doubts and was pleasantly surprised when she was accepted.

Charissa is a Nationally Certified Senior Pharmacy Technician at Walgreen’s.  She really enjoys her job.  When she isn’t working, she is spending time with her son and other family members and friends.  “Friends and family are important to me,” she says.  She and her son enjoy taking walks and going to the park.  Jayveon plays soccer and loves riding his bike outside.  “If he can be outside he is happy,” Charissa smiles.  Jayveon started Kindergarten earlier this year.

Charissa’s dream of homeownership will soon become a reality.  She selected a lovely lot on Morehouse in Elkhart for her and Jayveon.  “My money will finally be going towards something that will actually be mine,” she says proudly.  She is not the only one ready for their future.  “[Jayveon] is so excited…Everyday he is asking me: When are we gonna move? When can we have a dog?”

The safety and stability of their new home will provide a positive environment for Jayveon to grow up in. “I just want to make sure he goes to a good school and is successful,” Charissa states. The affordable mortgage payments will make it possible for Charissa to go back to school and complete the last semester of her Medical Assisting Degree.  Construction on their new home is scheduled to begin in early 2017.

Look Trailers


Look Trailers Donates Cargo Trailer to Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County

Elkhart, IN – LOOK Trailers donated a 20’ Element Work Trailer to Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County. The new trailer will replace their outdated unit and provide much needed space for Habitat’s construction tools at each of their home builds. Matt Arnold, owner of LOOK Trailers, was excited to participate in such a worthwhile cause, “I enjoy supporting our community and this is a wonderful cause I stand behind completely.”

Tom McArthur, Executive Director of Habitat stated “Our new LOOK trailer improves everything from volunteer experience to job site management. We can’t thank Matt enough for his generous support of our ministry.”

Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County has scheduled seven homes to be built in 2017. Upon completion, Habitat will have celebrated 30 years in Elkhart County and built 200 homes during this time span.

About LOOK Trailers
LOOK Trailers was founded in February 2010 and was already the fastest-growing enclosed trailer company in 2011, according to Statistical Surveys Inc. Headquartered in Middlebury, Indiana, LOOK Trailers manufactures a wide variety of enclosed steel and aluminum trailers including cargo, auto hauler, ATV, snowmobile and race. LOOK also manufactures Pace American and Cargo Express enclosed trailers in five facilities located in Indiana, Georgia, Utah, Pennsylvania and Arizona. For more information, visit www.looktrailers.com or call 877-475-5665.

About Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County
Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County became a Habitat affiliate July 14, 1986. A board of directors and an Executive Director led the affiliate through its first years. In July of 1987 the affiliate received its 501 (c) (3) designation as a non-profit organization. Since its beginning in 1986, Habitat volunteers have built 192 houses that benefited 801 people throughout Elkhart County.
Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County builds houses with families who meet the qualification guidelines.

1. A need for better housing
2. Ability to pay for a zero percent interest mortgage. (based on HUD financial guidelines for 30%-70% AMI)
3. A willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County (putting in the required Sweat Equity hours, making the required down payment and subsequent mortgage payments.)