Former Falcons player’s nonprofit working to build affordable housing in Augusta

Former Falcons player’s nonprofit working to build affordable housing in Augusta
Team owner Arthur Blank looks on while former Falcons running back Warrick Dunn, with his son Paxton, is inducted into the Ring of Honor during half time against the Saints in a NFL football game on Thursday, December 7, 2017, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton)

AUGUSTA, Ga. — A former Atlanta Falcons player is stepping up to help families in need in Georgia.

Warrick Dunn’s foundation has partnered with the city to build affordable housing. Dunn and city leaders held a ceremony Wednesday for the project.

“If you can do that to help people to move forward in life, you can build a better community,” Dunn told ABC affiliate WJBF-TV. “I love the fact, here in Augusta, they’re committed to building healthy communities.”

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Right now, three homes are under construction in Augusta’s Historic Laney Walker neighborhood.

“I want to be able these individuals go through this transition, where they are building better habits, and staying true to the things they signed up for,” Dunn said.

The former Atlanta Falcons star running back is launching a new branch of his charity here in Augusta. WD Communities provides not only downpayment assistance but home furnishings to first-time buyers.

Posted by WJBF NewsChannel 6 on Wednesday, February 12, 2020

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Dunn spent 12 years in the NFL, including six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons from 2002-2007. The Falcons inducted Dunn into their Hall of Fame in 2017.

The former running back founded Warrick Dunn Charities in 1997.

The nonprofit’s WD Communities division has furnished 177 homes to single families. The nonprofit has also spent more than $875,000 in downpayment assistance.

Dunn’s charity mainly focuses on single families in memory of his mother, who raised him and his five siblings as a single mom.

He took over as the head of his family at age 18 when his mother was killed.

Dunn’s mother Betty Smothers worked as a police officer. Three men attacked her as she helped a woman make a deposit at a bank.

Dunn attended Florida State University and raised his siblings with help from his grandmother.

The NFL named Dunn the Walter Payton Man of the Year winner in 2004. The award is given every year to a player for his volunteer and charity work.