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Half of children in Durkeeville growing up in poverty

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Updated: 9/10/2013 12:13 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- They play on dangerous streets, many in what DCF calls unlivable conditions. Actions News has learned more than half of the children in the Durkeeville and Newtown sections of Jacksonville are growing up in poverty, the highest rates in our area.

About 21.8 percent of children in Duval County live in poverty, and that number more than doubles in Durkeeville. More than 52 percent of children live in poverty, some even had to be removed from their families.

DCF's John Harrell says it's a problem passed down through generations stemming from poor education and teen pregnancy. It's a vicious cycle that's difficult to break.

More than 16 percent of all teens in the 32290 ZIP code become pregnant compared to 7.8 percent for the entire county.

Shuntrell Wilburn grew up in Durkeeville and had her first baby at 17. She says her community needs assistance in getting on the right path for the next generation.

"We need more opportunities more programs more stuff to do to keep them off the streets to keep them busy," she said.

Responding to the call for help, DCF is talking to the mayor and city council Thursday to get funding for mentoring programs and to bring business to the area. They'll be hosting a community hope event at Edward Waters College Thursday at 2 p.m. to help tackle the issue.

Harrell believes failing to act now will only push the effects of poverty into other areas of the city.

"We seen it happen in other cities like Detroit," said Harrell.

DCF will also be hosting a public forum about the issue Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Schell Sweet Community Center.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

FlSunRise87 - 9/10/2013 11:39 AM
0 Votes
Ok.. I grew up with a single mom, who was always on a "diet" and I didn't know but every piece of clothing in my closet came from a consignment store. I didn't get pregnant and pop out 14 kids, but I guess common sense isnt so common anymore.. How about coming to the school to educate these little idiots to be on birth control, and budgeting! And to Whosaysnocan, I absolutely agree, lock up the scum getting these teen age girls pregnant! Living in middleburg was a prime example of watching men well into their late 20's impregnating teen age girls YUCK!

Gunny48 - 9/10/2013 11:32 AM
0 Votes
It's time to adopt the Chinese solution - limit the number of children!

whosaysnocan - 9/10/2013 8:32 AM
1 Vote
Bravo Jenn H!

whosaysnocan - 9/10/2013 8:31 AM
2 Votes
Exactly what are "we" supposed to do to help these people any more than is already handed to them? My siblings and I grew up in poverty, we did not hang out and wait for the government to bail us out. We could have continued in it, but we worked hard to get beyond the stereo type of our situation. A good start to giving these a "hand up" would be to provide birth control, arrests of the "adult males" that impregnate these teen girls. DCF can only do so much with the money they receive for their programs. How much more does this community expect of "us?" It would be interesting IF DCF could revamp the requirements for assistance. Make it more difficult to receive the hand outs. Make mandatory "classes" to teach them how to break the cycle. As for the comment concerning the spread of this to other areas, we see it happening when more public housing projects are handed to them. Enough coddling them. They need "tough love." Jenn H~yes it would be good if these children have parents to start with, but as we know, these so called parents are so far unwilling to better the situation, just keeps the circle going. They just have quantity of kids vice quality kids. It is bragging "rights" of how many you have. Sad for the unaware little ones. I look forward to the follow up on this. Should be interesting.

Jenn H - 9/10/2013 8:20 AM
2 Votes
Should the city council decide to spend my money on these programs to keep kids busy and off the streets, mandatory responsibility classes should be required as part of the program. If kids don't learn it at home where it belongs, perhaps a trusted adult can teach it outside the home. Learning to take responsibility for ones self is the ONLY solution to stop this cycle. Spending time and energy on, "it's not my fault... it's the fault of the schools/drugs/bad parents/poverty/abuse/not enough after school programs/violence/etc" is all sad but it's also called an excuse. Making excuses means you have chosen to give up control of your life and your choices and the power you have to make your already awesome self even better. Be responsible for yourself, make good decisions, don't make excuses and you get to keep your choices and options for a better life. I did it.

Jenn H - 9/10/2013 7:56 AM
2 Votes
These children don't need more "programs". They need parents.

wishmistress - 9/10/2013 1:43 AM
0 Votes
Wonder how many of these 'poverty stricken' homes have meth head parents?
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