Augusta church prays for abandoned homes to be torn down

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock/ May 29, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- There are houses in Richmond County that cost more to tear down than their actually worth.

City officials tell us they're looking for thousands to tear down a handful of houses on Hopkins Street. The staff at Harmony Baptist Church also on Hopkins Street are calling the houses a curse.

Harmony Baptist Church's motto is don't count the problems just count the blessings, but Deacon Jeffrey Hill is counting problems across the street from the church.

"Realistically speaking, it's a curse, because its very unsafe for the community, its very unsafe for our members," said Deacon Jeffrey Hill.

Deacon Hill says the run down, eye sores are not only unpleasant, he also says the houses are home to drugs addicts and prostitutes.

"We have a lot of women auxiliaries at the church. The ladies have meetings at the church at night. We've witnessed drug deals going on in those houses, people can hide and they feel very unsafe coming out," said Deacon Hill.

"Right beside these houses right here are one, two, three, four, five brand new houses that, you know, look nothing like this," Commissioner Fennoy.

Commissioner Bill Fennoy is working with the church to bring some sort of redemption to Hopkins Street. We're told the county was denied access to federal funding to tear down four of the six Hopkins street homes by the Historic Preservation Commission.

They're looking for new funding and Commissioner Fennoy says SPLOST 7 could've been the savior.

"I know this is after the fact, but had SPLOST passed. We would have had more than four million dollars to address issues with dilapidated houses," said Commissioner Fennoy.

"You know, they've been promising that they were gonna tear it down, they would get it together," said Deacon Hill.

Church members say they've taken the broken promises about those sinful houses to the one man they know who can fix it all.

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