Victory for Parkwood Farms!Shab Bashiri on June 27, 2013
Parkwood Farms, a therapeutic riding center for children with disabilities in Snellville, GA, has claimed a major victory today in their fight against the bank to save the farm from foreclosure.
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Parkwood Farms Therapy Center reached out to Occupy Our Homes Atlanta last November on the same day that Gwinnett County sheriff's deputies were attempting to enforce an eviction.
When the economic crisis hit in 2008, some of the children who receive the very unique therapy that Parkwood Farms provides could no longer afford the fees Parkwood Farms asks for. Parkwood Farms made the decision to put people over profit and work with those that needed their services. Around the same time their monthly monthly payments shot up dramatically. Doctor Marilyn Peterson immediately began working with the bank on a loan modification. Dr. Peterson faced the same struggle that millions of Americans faced, having to resend modification packets, broken promises from the lender, and eventually a refusal to work with her.
After holding multiple heartfelt press conferences attended by parents, children, volunteers, and all of Snellville's City Council the bank decided to negotiate.
It took organizing candlelight vigils on the farm, holding protests at the bank law firm’s office, launching multiple online petitions, and raising a lot of money before a final deal was struck. Today around 1pm Dr. Marilyn Peterson, who runs the therapy center and is a mother of a child with a disability, closed on a deal that will keep the farm open for the children that need it. "After all this time since November, we can finally declare that I own this property outright. This is a great day," Peterson said.
The day was filled with hugs and smiles as volunteers, parents, and children had the cloud of eviction lifted from a place where so many find healing and peace. Parkwood Farms is no longer at risk of eviction, and in fact Dr. Peterson now owns her home and the property used by Parkwood Farms Therapy Center.