This is the most touching “relocation story” ever to appear on this blog.
First – it’s been said time and again that California’s housing is so unaffordable that poor people are the ones who are hurt the most, a situation aggravated by the state’s land-use regulations and tax policies.
This is an account of a challenged couple, Marty Turcios and his girlfriend Melody Lacy, who are planning to leave the state because of high housing costs. They expect to move to Georgia by late September or early October and do so in a way that allows them to keep helping disadvantaged people.
Marty is leading a full life giving golf lessons to many types of limited-ability people every year, which he does cheerfully despite having cerebral palsy.
A Golf Channel special shows Marty giving golf instructions to high school students, to people with developmental disabilities and to disabled veterans, many of whom have post traumatic stress disorders. “I treat them like golfers and not like people with disabilities,” he said. His teaching includes instructing people in wheelchairs how to putt. See the remarkable video “Golf in America: Marty’s Story.”
With a Masters degree in Recreational Therapy, Marty was a coach at the University of California at Berkeley and at a local high school. Also, he created the Marty Turcios Therapeutic Golf Foundation based in Richmond, about 20 miles from San Francisco.
Now he and Melody want to move to Augusta, Georgia. Why? Well, besides it being the Home of the Masters and a place brimming with golf courses, here is what Marty said to his Facebook followers about housing:
“We will miss you and our students so much. We, as a disabled couple, have spent five years trying to figure out how to stay in the Bay Area. We have tried everything to find affordable rental, to no avail, we tried to figure out how to buy a home around here, which is cheaper than renting, to no avail. We tried to build a container home on friends’ land, but due to the restrictive building codes and lack of water that did not work out either. We finally gave up . . . and looked at moving to Augusta. This has been a long, hard decision and now we are under a deadline to move out so we are hoping for a little help from our donors to relocate the program. Augusta has a huge veterans center and a large disabled population. Please accept our sincere apologies for having to leave and try to wish us well.”
While visiting their potential new turf, he met with Augusta University Athletic Director Clint Bryant and looked at housing. Here is what they posted about their visit:
“We just found a home in Augusta for less than $25k that is perfect for us but it might go soon at that price in that lovely neighborhood. We need to raise the money to put down on this house right away!”
“We are finally back from Augusta, but we are not feeling nearly as ‘at home’ as we felt in Georgia! We have so much to tell you all about Marty’s multi-level work with Augusta University and Marty’s up-and-coming programs with Wedges and Woods! The home we chose is only blocks from the athletic and sports offices on the beautiful Forest Hills Golf Course.
Think of it – an inexpensive home near Forest Hills, which Augusta Magazine repeatedly names the city’s “Best Public Golf Course.”
Here is a summary of the appeal to help finance the move:
For more than a decade Marty Turcios, who was born with cerebral palsy, has taught golf lessons to disabled people throughout the Bay Area including veterans with traumatic brain injuries, teens and adults with autism, Down’s syndrome and other severe disabilities including amputees and stroke survivors. “Our home in Richmond is being sold and we are moving to Augusta, Georgia where there is a huge veterans center and affordable housing among eight golf courses. We have to go due to the cost of housing in the Bay Area and we will continue to teach golf, as therapy, to over a hundred separate individual disabled people every year. We are sad to go. Please send us off with enough money to get set up in Augusta in celebration of Marty Turcios’s service to the Bay Area and particularly Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. We will use the money to rent a truck ($2,771), down payment on a house ($2,250), send out a mailing with the new address ($350), for a grand total of $6,371 dollars. This move means housing security to us, which we, at age 56 and 60, have never yet known. We will be so thankful to everyone that helps and remember that every donation is totally tax deductible because we are a public charity under the 501(c)3 laws of the Federal Government. We have served the Bay Area at no cost to the disabled participants at all for over a decade. Now we need to move and we are sorry to leave you all.”
CerebralPalsy.org has a remarkable story about Marty – “Golfer swings past physical challenges.”
It appears that Augusta already has begun giving Marty and Melody a warm welcome based on WRDW-TV coverage: “Therapeutic Golf Foundation relocating from California to Augusta to rehabilitate those with disabilities.”
Note: Contributions can be made through PayPal on this page at the Marty Turcios Therapeutic Golf Foundation’s website.