Last week the Eureka Gardens complex located on the Westside of Jacksonville made headlines throughout the city as a spectacle of code enforcement officials converged on the apartment community. Eureka Garden apartment residents have been suffering with distress from long standing maintenance issues that were previously reported to management, city code enforcement and the Mayor’s office. Many residents units were covered with mold in the bathrooms and kitchens. City inspectors issued 163 citations for violations. City Councilman Garrett Dennis says he wants to hold those responsible for the conditions accountable.
“We’re going to hold this owner’s feet to the fire. If you think about it, there are residents in unsanitary conditions. When they get sick, who pays for that? We do as tax payers here in Jacksonville.” Local nurse and activist Denise Hunt witnessed Mayor Lenny Curry onsite at Eureka Gardens, “We were all standing around and next thing we know Mayor Curry pulled up with his staff and immediately went inside one of the apartments. When he exited the unit he was exasperated and stated ‘he couldn’t breathe and how heartbreaking’ it was to view the apartments with no ventilation, he hugged me, shook his head and repeated, “that no one should live like this.” During Curry’s recent mayoral bid, he vowed to, “leave no neighborhood behind”.
Richard Hamlet from the Global Ministries Foundation, a Christian-based organization located in Germantown, Tennessee has denied the allegation that he had workers paint over mold. Located next door to Eureka Gardens is Wayman Ministries. Pastor Mark Griffin is the pastor of Wayman Ministries and recently was in the news for soliciting funds for a swing set for the children at Eureka Gardens. In amidst of all the turmoil, Wayman Ministries has made strides with assisting Eureka Gardens with jobs and basic in-kind assistance. City officials have deemed living conditions at Eureka Gardens poor, but residents are not being forced to find alternative housing. Currently there is no concrete plan to solve the maintenance issues at Eureka Gardens. Global Ministries Foundation has 18 days to respond to the code violations. B. Richardson Photo