When Slater Elementary School Assistant Principal Dumaka Moultrie learned about “Teachers on the Block,” he and his wife, Antoinette, were intrigued and hopeful. The program, a partnership made possible by FCS Ministries, Citizens Trust Bank, and Neighborworks Columbus, provides Purpose Built Schools employees the opportunity to qualify for down payment assistance for buying a home.
The program promotes and enables employees of Purpose Built Schools to buy homes in neighborhoods in proximity to their schools.
“Considering the recent housing market, without the assistance of programs like Teachers on the Block, purchasing a house in the city of Atlanta can seem out of reach,” says Moultrie.
Since becoming a resident of the 30315 zip code, Moultrie says he feels even more like a part of the community that he has served since 2016.
“I now have the privilege to get acquainted with this area from a different lens. I get to be a neighbor; not a daily commuter. It resonates with neighboring stakeholders in a different way knowing that my family coexists in the same community. Relationships built on trust are what allow me to communicate and connect with families on a deeper level. I believe being a neighbor can help foster trust and build bridges.”
Word of Mr. Moultrie’s relocation has traveled fast – others already know he’s moved into South Atlanta and are welcoming him with open arms. He and his wife have already participated in several community initiatives to include the recent South Atlanta Treat Street event sponsored by FCS. The Moultries have also connected with and plan to work with the South Atlanta Civic League and a group called Community Fellowship that also serves the neighborhood. Mr. Moultrie, feels that settling into his new community sets a good precedent for other PBSA staff. “We need to see and affirm that both our children and the neighborhood they reside in have unlimited potential and that it’s a good place to be.”
Another way to love on the students and truly give back.
Antoinette, who is also a public servant, has already made connections with their next door neighbors. She works from home most days and has already begun keeping a watchful eye on their street.
“I work upstairs by the window where I see the kids walk by each day. I like being an extra set of eyes making sure they’re ok as they come and go,” she says. Ms. Moultrie has gratitude for how welcoming and diverse the neighborhood is. As residents invested in the people of South Atlanta, living nearby allows them to get to know their neighbors and pour into them in a new way. For example, she and Mr. Moultrie reached out to the City of Atlanta’s 311 service advocating for some much-needed attention to the illegal dumping that is occurring on a street adjacent to their new home. The Moultries truly want to be actively engaged in taking care of and giving back to Historic South Atlanta.
Residents, engaged neighbors…and powerful role models.
Moultrie calls homeownership “life-changing,” and talks about how empowering it is. “Homeownership is responsibility and autonomy,” he says, “While buying a home is complex and has many moving parts, it is worth every second of the effort and patience it takes to navigate the process.” The Moultries note that it is equitable and important for people young or old to see homeowners who look like them moving in, especially in a neighborhood where homeownership is becoming more and more out of reach for minority citizens.
“We are committed to rooting ourselves to this community and giving back. They’re going to see that we’re here to pay it forward in any way we can. We want to not just survive, but thrive within our new community, this home now.” concludes Moultrie.
Learn more about the Teachers on the Block down payment assistance program.