Man with special needs at risk of losing family home

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — They say home is where the heart is. But for one Wilmington man with special needs, that home is on the line through no fault of his own.

Nearly everyday, Rashone Jackson walks more than a mile home from work. He loves music, cleaning, and the place he calls home.

“It’s just so clean like, nobody’s lived in it,” Jackson smiled as he made the trek. “It’s just me.”

Habitat for Humanity helped Jackson’s mother build their home more than a decade ago. Before then, Jackson, his mom, and siblings lived in Long Leaf Park.

“That was a Section 8 housing in Long Leaf Park,” he explained. “This house is hers, my mom’s. And she didn’t want it to go anywhere.”

Habitat and Welcome Home Angel built the house with ramps and an accessible bedroom for Jackson. At the time, the teen had a brain tumor. His future was uncertain.

“I lost all my strength. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t talk. I walk with kind of a limp now,” Jackson remembered.

Jackson’s mom had several health issues. He believes the stress she felt only made those conditions worse.

“Because of this house. It was something telling her to ask for help, and she was so ashamed to ask for help.”

She even kept secrets from her own children, perhaps to make them feel safe.

Though Jackson walks home most days, Christon Campo remembers when she gave Jackson a ride home. The Food Lion customer befriended him as he cleaned the floors and bathrooms.

“And his mother was sitting on the porch,” she recalled. “Like she was waiting on him to come home. She wanted to know that he’d be safe. And then he lost her.”

Jackson’s mother died suddenly of a stroke in December. Soon after, he received a notice a foreclosure on the house. His mother owed nearly $18,000 in missed mortgage payments, and had hidden the bills and financial documents from her family.

“Wishing I could see her face,” Jackson said. “Like I could talk to her and ask her, why, why, just talk to me mom, I’m here. Why not tell me?”

Making $9.70 an hour, Jackson works as much as he can to pay back the debt, but with his mental challenges, he says he doesn’t understand what needs to do to save his home.

“Just trying to keep this house up,” he said, “like keep the bills paid everything.”

His future as uncertain as his recovery years ago, Jackson walks to work everyday, determined to save his mom’s house and memories he has there.

Despite the initial uncertainty, this story could still have a happy ending.

We reached out to Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity on behalf of Jackson. They say they’re willing to work with him and his family to save the house.

We relayed to Habitat for Humanity that Jackson wanted to keep his house, and forwarded his family an application to keep the home and reevaluate its mortgage to be 30 percent of his income or less.

We will update you as the story develops.

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