Memorial | Project HOME


The early days of Project HOME were a time of much ferment in the struggle against homelessness in Philadelphia.  The numbers of persons on the streets were very high, city and private services were stretched to the limit, and public antagonism was growing.  Many groups were involved in creative efforts of advocacy and political action to raise the issue and push for justice.


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.


"Whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved the entire world."  (The Talmud)

Richard Brown was a jovial spirit with a ready smile, a hearty laugh, and a heart as big as his large frame. To be in his presence and soak in his friendly and gentle spirit, you couldn’t imagine that this same person had once been an angry and despairing addict living on the streets.


Hyacinth King is a long-time resident of Project HOME and one of the leaders in our community. She works with our Outreach Coordination Center, is active in our Advocacy Committee, and serves on our Board of Trustees. Last week, on February 4, her mother, Theora King, passed away. Hyacinth shares her reflections in the wake of losing her mother, who was a great supporter of Project HOME and a great strength in Hyacinth's life.


This past week, members of the Project HOME community gathered for a memorial service for Billy Hope, a resident who passed away recently. Billy was part of our very first emergency winter shelter in 1989, and stayed connected to us ever since then. In honor of Billy, we republish this post, which was originally published last May. Billy is the resident described in the second paragraph -- a testimony to his generous spirit despite many rough years on the streets.


Will O’Brien, who has been part of the Project HOME community since 1989, recounts a memorial service for a beloved resident, Sarae Moore. A version of this article was published in Horizons magazine in 2009.

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