Farm for special needs children fights foreclosure - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Farm for special needs children fights foreclosure

SNELLVILLE, GA (CBS46) -

Since Thursday, Parkwood Farms has been closed to the children it has served for more than a decade.

The farm is in foreclosure and now the owner and founder Dr. Marilyn Peterson is fighting to get a temporary restraining order to fight the eviction.

The farm provides therapy through horses for children with learning disabilities. Peterson said her son has autism, so she started the farm to help him and others like him.

"I will not think that this is not going to continue," Peterson said.  "My own son has autism, and that is why I sold my home in Norcross to build this, because nothing else worked for him either."

Peterson said her original loan was sold to another company, the rates went up and she found herself in foreclosure. Now Peterson said she is trying to get a temporary restraining order on her eviction through the Gwinnett County Magistrate Court and hopefully a hearing before a federal judge.

"I do know money will fix it, but we don't even know how much money will fix it because we have to wait until they (the banks) are willing to sit down at a negotiating table and talk to us," Peterson said.

There are a lot of parents counting on the farm to survive.

"It would be a devastating blow for us," Sunnil Yeargin said. 

His 5-year-old son Brandon was diagnosed with autism.

"I tried all kinds of different activities with him, from sports, all types of different things and none of them worked out because he is autistic," Yeargin said. "And being one-on-one with the horse is probably the greatest thing for him. He looks forward to it every single week."

Nearly a hundred people showed up to the farm Tuesday night. It was that type of support Peterson said will keep the farm alive. More than 40 kids attend the farm to ride horses each week.

"We will reopen, and I think it will be sometime after Thanksgiving," Peterson said.

Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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