JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville’s Eastside is home to some of the poorest families in our area.
A stark difference from the millions generated by its wealthy neighbor, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
For Dana Miller, while the Eastside is home, for a long time he didn’t value it.
“I helped tear down this community. I was a drug dealer and I felt guilty, and not only guilty, but when I came back out here, I saw my people were in need,” said Miller.
After serving 10 years in prison, he was determined to help build his neighborhood back up.
“Being a barber there’s more to it than just cutting hair. I’m the psychologist, that father figure, that person that they can come talk to,” he said.
The Man Cave Barber Shop is one of the few businesses left on A. Philip Randolph Boulevard.
Miller has gained the trust of not only those who sit in his chair but also Jaguars President Mark Lamping who invited him and other leaders to lunch this week.
The Khan family and the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation are committing $1 million to the Eastside through the nonprofit, LIFT JAX.
The money will go toward food insecurity, parks and playgrounds, culture and business, placement on the National Register of Historic Places, and organizational and community support.
Miller called the investment a blessing and he hopes it’s only the beginning.
“This is setting standards now for the whole entire Jacksonville. You’re starting out east first helping and now other communities in Jacksonville can feel like there’s hope,” said Miller.
Cox Media Group