News 12 at first at five, December 28, 2007
Augusta, GA---Gilbert Manor residents learned they would have 90 days to move after the first of the year. Now there's a problem...pulling kids out of school late in the year.
With testing coming up, some like the man who calls himself "Brother Garcia" are worried children are being set up to fail. "I think we need to go back to the drawing board," says Garcia. "We have a mandate to take care of the poor...and speak for those who can't speak for themselves and give them sound direction...I'm not hearing that from these leaders."
After a little homework, the Augusta Housing Authority is planning to meet with the Richmond County school board next week to discuss allowing kids to stay at their school through the end of the school year....regardless of where they move.
But if that doesn't work Jake Oglesby, director of the housing authority says, "We will go back to our board and ask them to consider allowing the students and their families to remain in Gilbert until the current school-year is complete."
Everyone else would have to go leaving vacant units. Some people say it's an issue of safety and they would rather go. "I think that's a great opportunity but as for me and my kids I'm ready to go. I don't want my kids out here so whenever they give me whatever they gone give me...I'm gone," says Quinn Merriweather. She is a mother of two who has lived in Gilbert Manor 7 years and says she's hoping to start the year somewhere else. "No discussion...no questions asked...bye."
"For our kids...they shooting out here. I'm ready to buy my kids a swing set, and play in the backyard." Like Quinn Merriweather, Charmell Rogers says she can't imagine staying through May 2008. "This is our ticket to get out of the projects."
90 day notices will go out as planned next week. The authority says what happens next will depend on the results of their talks with the school board. Housing and Urban Development recently gave the housing authority permission to sell Gilbert Manor to M.C.G. The property can't be sold until all residents have moved.