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Orangeburg pastor plans housing for vets: ‘Every veteran needs to be looked after,’ Moultrie says
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Orangeburg pastor plans housing for vets: ‘Every veteran needs to be looked after,’ Moultrie says

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Bishop Isaiah Moultrie, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, has always had a heart for others.

The 85-year-old says he and his wife like to help with everything from locating off-campus housing for students to arranging rides for veterans.

When they lived in California, “we did our best out there to try to help those who were less fortunate than we were,” he said.

Moultrie pastors Moultrie Temple Church of God in Christ on Henley Street.

As a retired military man, Moultrie especially has a soft spot in his heart for his comrades in uniform.

"There is a definite need for veterans," Moultrie said. "Veterans are in a bad shape all over. We are not doing enough for our veterans."

"We know what it is all about -- sleeping in the cold, eating in the cold, laying in foxholes and trusting in the good Lord that the Lord will take them through to protect America," he said. "Every veteran needs to be looked after and given the best care they can possibly be given. That is what America really should do."

Moultrie says he has plans to build a six-story, multi-family residential facility for veterans on family-owned property in Orangeburg.

The three-acre piece of property on Sulton Court used to house mobile homes.

Moultrie envisions the property as a mixture of about 60 one and two-bedroom apartment units as well as commercial units.

Five floors will consist of residential units and one floor will be dedicated to veterans’ services.

On the floor dedicated to service veterans, one of the units will be a veterans counseling and resource center. Veterans will be provided mental health services as well as job placement and family counseling on-site as well.

The project is targeted for a completion within the next one-and-a-half to two years.

The project will be privately funded and are expected to be constructed for about $10 million. The buildings are expected to house between 100 and 200 veterans.

Moultrie says he is looking for a local architect for the project and will need to talk to both Orangeburg city and county councils as he says the property straddles both the city and county line.

"My father has been wanting to do this," said Isaiah Moultrie Jr., who owns New York General Contracting and Construction and will be helping to build the facility. "He has always dreamed about doing this.

"He is willing to commit the properties to the service of the military and helping those in the military. A lot of veterans come home from service and don't have places to go or easy access to affordable housing.

"We have the plans being drawn up now."

Moultrie would also like to purchase property across the street. The property, which currently houses mobile homes, covers about eight acres.

Moultrie also has some land in Branchville on U.S. 78 where he plans to also build a residential facility, but his focus is on getting a home built in Orangeburg first.

"Once we get Orangeburg going and once they see what they are doing here, I feel like everybody can get behind me," he said.

In addition, Moultrie is also constructing a housing complex in Inwood, New York, on property the family has owned for 40 years. Inwood is located on Long Island.

Construction is slated to begin in June of 2020, with the New York complex to open by January 2022.

Moultrie grew up about three miles from St. George and moved to Branchville when he was about 5 or 6 years old. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 17.

He never saw action overseas but did serve at Camp Pendleton in California, Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and Camp Quantico in Virginia before being discharged.

Moultrie and his wife of 64 years, Eulah, moved to Orangeburg from New York about 33 years ago.

"We saw a great need here," Moultrie said. "Student housing was very bad."

Moultrie has been involved with student off-campus housing for much of his life and says it has been his experience that decent housing is hard to find for college students.

The couple came to Orangeburg and purchased some additional properties on Ellis Avenue specifically to house students.

"We’ve got to keep doing things," Moultrie said. "We love doing it."

Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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