Southside resident: ‘Our neighborhood is overrun by prostitutes and drugs’

Author: Brittany Dionne
Published: 5:21 AM EDT October 10, 2017

Prostitution and human trafficking are a major issue in the River City.

It’s a dirty little secret everyone knows. The people who live in the Englewood area on the Southside of Jacksonville say their neighborhood is being overrun with crime.

“A lot of drugs along Philips Highway. The convenience store is the hang out for the prostitutes. Police know it they are here all the time,” a neighbor who asked not to be identified said.

The neighbor says the Englewood community gets the overflow of criminal activity that happens on Emerson Street and Philips Highway.

Girls as young as 12 are falling victim to selling their bodies for money.

“High school and middle school, those are the most vulnerable ages,” said Kelly Posze with Her Song, a non-profit geared toward helping victims escape human trafficking.

Prostitution and human trafficking are a major issue in the River City.

“Definitely a major issue for our area,” she said. “Florida is ranked third in the nation for human trafficking reports and Jacksonville is typically ranked as a top city for him and trafficking incidents.”

Posze says most victims are women who have suffered childhood abuse, battling addiction or poverty.

She says that often times, prostitution is not a personal choice.

“Human trafficking is a greed driven industry,” she said. “It’s a supply and demand market and if that demand was too dry up then we would no need for the supply,” Posze said.

To reach Her Song call 904-513-0203, or you can go to their website at hersongjax.org.

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