Meet a Homeowner
Meet a Homeowner - Sammie Clark We’re continuing our series “Meet a Homeowner” with Mr. Sammie Clark, who was an SOS homeowner from summer 2014. He partnered with returning Team Leader, Ben Hancock. I had the chance to sit down on the couch with Mr. Clark and get more acquainted. Here’s a snapshot of our conversation. -Jonathan King
JK: Can you tell me about how you found your way to this home here on Lyndale?
SC: I grew up in Rossville, TN where my dad was a farmer. I’m the youngest of 14 children. Most of my older siblings moved north to Chicago and Detroit, but I stayed back to help take care of my parents. It’s a decision I’m really glad I made. I’d go back and do it again. I bought this home here and saw home ownership as a way to contribute to the city.
JK: What sort of work have you done in the past?
SC: I worked in construction and manufacturing, but then I hurt my back and had to take a job which was better for that. So, I worked for Shelby County with inmates and their community service projects. I saw it as an opportunity to work with some guys who needed some counsel and guidance.
JK: What happened to your back?
SC: I had an accident and I’ve now had three surgeries. I’ve had chronic back pain since the last surgery.
JK: So how did you get connected with SOS?
SC: I’ve seen you all working in the neighborhood for about ten years and someone dropped a flyer off at my door. You all are doing good work. Ben Hancock was a great team leader. I liked having the young people here, teaching them some things about the work, even though my back didn’t allow me to get up on the roof.
JK: Do you have any favorite spots in Memphis?
SC: I like to go to the Senior Center two or three times a week, to shoot pool, visit and have lunch. I’ve been going there about four years now. I also go to church on Sundays and I sing in the choir and the male chorus. I see it as a way to contribute and not just sit on the bench.
JK: So, you like to sing – any favorite songs or artists?
SC: I like Gospel music – groups like the William Brothers.
JK: Before I go, do you have any advice for young people?
SC: Well, the number one thing is to stay positive about life, be considerate of others and don’t let anything get in the way of things you’re working for. You have to work with what you have to work with, put your trust in the Lord and keep your faith. I might have had some back problems, but it’s no reason to complain. Jesus died for my sins and gave me a second chance. He’s been good to me. You know, some people think you have to have everything in life, but be thankful for what he does allow you to have. People get mixed up in life and think if they don’t have all the material things then they think God doesn’t care and they give up. But God has a good plan.