One of Our Best Assets
On December 19, at the annual Philadelphia Homeless Memorial Day service, one of the persons who was being remembered was Roosevelt Darby. Roosevelt , who passed away in 2012, was a long-time advocate, who used his own experience of homelessness as a fuel to empower others to overcome their struggles. Dainette Mintz, the City of Philadelphia's Director of the Office of Supportive Housing, knew Roosevelt well and worked closely with him for many years. At the Homeless Memorial Day service, she shared this beautiful remembrance of Roosevelt.
I am honored to remember Roosevelt Darby at this year’s Homeless Memorial Service.
Some of you may remember Roosevelt, he was a man who overcame addiction and homelessness to become a forceful advocate for ending homelessness. For many years, Roosevelt was the Deputy Director at the Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness at 802 North Broad and advocated for dignity and housing for the homeless. Roosevelt was influential in the establishment and operations of the services provided at 802 and many of the homeless program created in Philadelphia.
Roosevelt left Philadelphia to live and work in Atlanta for several years. However, I always felt Philadelphia was missing one of its best assets in the fight against homelessness and when I had the opportunity, I offered him a position to work with me in the city’s Office of Supportive Housing. I respected Roosevelt tremendously and considered him a friend. I regret that Roosevelt suffered a stroke shortly after joining OSH’s staff and passed away last June.
In remembrance of Roosevelt, when the City opened its new Intake Center for single homeless men at 802 North Broad last summer, we named it the Roosevelt Darby Center as a memorial to his tremendous work and dedication to ending homelessness in Philadelphia. It is my sincere hope that Roosevelt be remembered for his accomplishments in overcoming homelessness and homeless advocacy that these accomplishments be a model to others.