Why is Brooklyn Labeled Health Zone One? | Environment

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Why is Brooklyn Labeled Health Zone One?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Since 11 people were shot in a city park,  J.S. Johnson park and the Brooklyn neighborhood where it is located, have come out of anonymity.

The West Jacksonville is a small community dominated by vacant warehouses and dilapidated houses. It also is in the middle of what is called Health Zone One.

Clarence Lane, 70, who grew up in Brooklyn no longer lives there but returns when he can. "I never stopped coming back; I grew up in this neighborhood, it is a close-knit neighborhood," said Lane.

Lane said the old neighborhood has seen its glory days and he would like to forget its present day, but he hasn't given up on Brooklyn. "Brooklyn is getting a bad rap," he said.

As Health Zone One, Brooklyn is one of the most "impoverished, at risk segment of the city that transcends zip codes," said Dr. Michael Hallett, a UNF criminologist.

Hallett said Brooklyn fits the Zone One status for a number of reasons. "Bad because of family breakdowns, bad because of poverty and bad because of school failure," he said.

The category system was created by the Duval County Health Department to measure and collect data on diseases like diabetes, and STDs.

Hallett, who also participates in the Jacksonville Journey, a city effort to tackle the problems of economically depressed communities, said the solution to healing Health Zone One is not easy.

"You need a concentration of targeted focus on a range of concerns," he said.

He said the Jacksonville Journey has created after-school programs targeting kids in the early and middle schools, and they're working. But the long-term restoration will take businesses creating jobs and residents like Clarence Lane fighting back to save their neighborhoods.

"It is not the people from the neighborhood who are causing this chaos," said Lane.











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