FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A husband and wife duo are changing lives through their development company in Fayetteville. The pair revitalized almost a dozen houses in an area once plagued by drugs, and they plan to build even more at McIver Street and Humphrey Lane.
Shannon and Kelsey Battle of All American Construction and Restoration bought the houses in 2020. Kelsey Battle, who is the project manager of All American Construction and Restoration, said they were inspired to redevelop the area because his mother once bought drugs there.
"When we came down here and we seen these properties and they was still selling drugs here, I'm like wow, this would be a good area to clean up," Kelsey Battle said. "I couldn't get my mom out, but I can stop the next person, man or female, from getting on drugs.
Through their company, the two began forging a path to clean up the homes, taking down trees and restoring construction. Cumberland County reached out and asked the couple to use five of the homes for transitional housing through the Bridge Housing program. Another house would be used for the program's office space.
Now all of those units are occupied by people who are on a path to regain control of their lives, overcoming their own battles with addiction and poverty.
"I definitely think that we set a bar, and I'm challenging more Black younger entrepreneurs, older entrepreneurs to do the same," General Contractor of All American Shannon Battle said. "Look at the communities that look desolate. That people are not proud of, but really is their home and beautify it. Make it better for you to live in."
The Battles said they will also build five new townhomes in the area, and plan to break ground in the upcoming months.
Cassandra Thompson just moved into one of the units. Proud to be three months sober, she said she is grateful for her new home and that it's helping her turn her life around.
"I think it would be a great idea to have more places like this for people like me. That way, we can be productive citizens in society. There's a lot of homelessness, a lot of people on drugs that don't have a place to go," Thompson said. "I'm accomplishing my goals with programs like this."
The Battles say they plan to finish the entire development by June 2023.