MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Macon-Bibb Community Enhancement Authority is providing jobs to residents living in the pleasant hill community.
The workers are helping tear down blighted homes and build new ones.
“My vision was to basically revitalize pleasant hill,” says Peter Givens who is the president of The Pleasant Hill Neighborhood Improvement Group.
After 12 years, his vision is finally becoming a reality. The Georgia Department of Transportation, The Pleasant Hill Community and the Macon-Bibb Enhancement Authority have scheduled the reconstruction of the I-75/I-16 interchange and demolition of homes in the Pleasant Hill Community to begin. Residents are being hired to do the work.
“We’re the first community to ever be involved with federal highway projects. Therefore, there’s a lot of money coming through this community and it should come into the community and stay in the community meaning jobs should go to those people in the community,” Givens continues.
“When this opportunity came we thought it would be best for the people in the community to get on these jobs that way it will give them some kind of home and stability,”says community activist Darryl Jackson.
Stability and skills will benefit them in the future.
“When all of this scalping goes away and the neighborhood is changed, they have a skill that they can literally walk into somewhere and say listen I can do foundation work, roofing work, sheet rock and so forth,” says Dr. James Beverly, Chairman of Macon-Bibb Community Enhancement Authority.
Donta Booze is one of the few workers who were hired. He says, “I actually would like to build my own home one day, and with these skills gained from this, it’s possible.”
“It’s right on time for Christmas, I got a daughter I’m trying to provide for and they’re making it happen for me,” adds Ken Taylor who also started working with the group.
Community activist Frank Austin says, “They live in the community, they work in this community, they play in this community. They’re the experts, so why not include them in the economics of that.”
A total of 24 homes are being either relocated, rehabilitated or newly built. Demolition is expected to be complete by in early February.