KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Joyce Jones is fed up with seeing sex workers near her dry cleaning business on Independence Avenue.
“Jokingly. Over the years, there will be someone working the corner out here. I go out and I tell her, ‘I work this corner. We just work it in a different way. It’s my corner, and there’s no room for both of us,'” Jones said.
Jones said the pimps, johns and sex workers have called this area home for too long. Now, it’s time for them to leave for good.
“The people who are actually with the girls, they think they can come into our neighborhood. They think they can do this and get by with it. I think they’re starting to figure out they’re not going to get by anymore,” Jones added.
On Tuesday, KCPD said it made six arrests on Independence Avenue, as a result of a prostitution sting.
Jones calls it a step in the right direction for this neighborhood.
“It’s not going to happen overnight. But I’ve seen a lot changing,” Jones said.
Social worker Trena Miller was with undercover officers as they made arrests on Tuesday. She said their first priority isn’t to lock people up, but to offer an opportunity out of this lifestyle.
“I have an array of emotions. Everywhere from I feel sad to anger because I know a lot of them aren’t in that lifestyle by choice,” Miller said.
She said it’s worth it — even if no one takes the help she’s there’s to offer.
The social workers with the police department offer housing, counseling, education and other help for those who feel trapped in their situations.