Atlanta nonprofit transforms historic neighborhood

Ga. man who stabbed wife to death 10 days after their wedding convicted in 15 minutesA metro area nonprofit has spent the last 20 years transforming a southeast Atlanta neighborhood and they are now wrapping up their work.

Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen was along Turman Avenue where the nonprofit has built and remodeled hundreds of homes.

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Tanisha Corporal says she didn’t always enjoy walking down her block.

“There were some challenges. I moved in as a single person with a young child,” Corporal said.

She says that 20 years ago, historic south Atlanta was known by some as suffering from too much crime, litter, and traffic.

That’s when Focused Community Strategies, FCS Ministries for short came to help.

“We took a neighborhood that has 600 properties. Half of it was vacant and blighted,” the nonprofit’s Cynthia McNeal said.


FCS raised money to buy and remodel the old homes by the dozens and then built what are called Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs, tiny houses in the backyards.

“Some of our lots are only 25 feet wide and the houses we put on them are 12 feet wide. But it’s beautiful,” contractor Gaurav Malhotra said. And in high demand.

“They have attracted an insanely diverse range of people,” owner of ADU builder “Backyard Atlanta” Pavan Iyer said.

Tenants rent the ADUs at steep discounts. The nonprofit uses that income on the fixer-uppers and offers them for sale, also at steep discounts, and often with zero percent mortgages.

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Corporal bought one of the homes at zero percent and is part of a neighborhood that she says has transformed.

“I’ve seen a lot happen. I’ve seen things that make me very proud to call south Atlanta home,” Tanisha said.

To learn more about FCS Ministries, click here.