Special Assignment: No Delivery Zone

By  | 

It's something most of us take for granted. We can pick up a phone and order a pizza whenever we want.

But for some people in Augusta, that's not an option.

And many of those people who can't get pizza have one thing in common: they live in an Augusta Housing Authority home.

In a Special Assignment, News 12's Ryan Duffy investigates "no delivery zones".

Deborah Stitt keeps trying, but that delivery never comes.

"Won't nobody come out, Pizza Hut won't come out, Dominos won't come out and Papa Johns, nobody."

Deborah says she can't get a pizza delivery at all---from any company--to her home in the Oak Pointe subdivision.

She thinks it's because she lives in an Augusta Housing Authority property.

"I can't go out and get it for my girls, like I want to because they love pizza."

So why can't Deborah simply order a delivery?

News 12 caught the policy for one pizza company all on tape.

"We don't deliver to any project homes, Delta Manor, Sunset, Southside...We don't deliver to the projects," said a pizza delivery employee over the phone to Deborah.

So we walked right across the street from Deborah's home in Oak Pointe, outside the housing authority gates.

That same pizza company told us we could order from there, right across the street, no problem.

But maybe it was just Deborah's street where the pizza companies don't deliver.

So we called all three major pizza delivery companies in town: Dominos, Pizza Hut and Papa Johns, and we called all of them from Housing Authority sites all over town. The answer we heard each and every time.

At the five properties we called, no one delivered, at any time of day.

None of the big three pizza chains wanted to talk to us about this, but they all pointed to the safety of their drivers as being a concern.

But the Richmond County Sheriff's office tells News 12 it has no record of sharing crime statistic information with pizza companies directly.

"They can show a negative impact as to various races regardless of whether there is intent. If you get into that kind of a case, employers could be in trouble," says Civil Rights attorney Mike Brown. Brown says the non-delivery could even violate the federal Civil Rights Act.

"They should receive those deliveries like they do in other parts of the city," says Augusta Commissioner Betty Beard. She represents downtown Augusta, the district with the most Housing Authority homes.

"We still have to service our community. Not just outer areas, all of our community. I will do any and everything I can do to help them," she says.

That help might be a start for people living in Housing Authority homes who just want their piece of the pie.

Commissioner Beard says anyone in her district dealing with this problem should call her city hall office.

Or you can call News 12 and we'll pass it along.

An Augusta Housing Authority spokesperson tells News 12 they were not aware of the pizza delivery problem, and they encourage their residents to report any problems to management.