My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
  • Tue
    25
  • Wed
    26
  • Thu
    27
  • Fri
    28
  • Sat
    29
  • Sun
    30
  • Mon
    1
Art of Elan Entracte Nov 25, 2014 This evening of chamber music will feature interludes and intermezzos and marks the return of The Myriad Trio performing with 2013 Pulitzer Prize- winner Caroline Shaw. 49 other events on Tuesday, November 25
 
Backwards & in High Heels
Let’s move this time machine to 2014, shall we?
The Floating Library
A work of historical fiction with a speculative twist
Film
New indie film starring Shailene Woodley tops our coverage of movies screening around town
Film
New Christopher Nolan epic leads our rundown of movies screening around town
Theater
First production by the latest troupe to launch in San Diego leads our rundown of local plays

 

 
Log in to use your Facebook account with
San Diego CityBeat

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on San Diego CityBeat
 
. . . .
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Belinda Darby

Our series putting names on San Diego's homeless

By Eric Wolff

Belinda Darby, 48, is looking forward to her granddaughter’s eighth-grade graduation next month. She spends most of her time around Market and 15th streets, so when the day arrives, she’ll get cleaned up at the nearby Neil Good  Day Center, put on her best clothing and wait for her daughter, who lives in National City, to pick her up. Unlike so many homeless people, Darby still has a strong relationship with her only child and her granddaughter. Her daughter even pays for a cell phone so Darby can stay in touch.

So why doesn’t she just live with her?

“She has her own life to lead,” Darby said. “I don’t want to interfere with that.”

Born in Decatur, Ill., Darby, her four siblings and her parents moved to Chula Vista in 1968, when she was 8. She graduated from Bonita Vista High School, went to college and eventually got a job in computers, working for IBM in National City. She met her husband and moved to Oram, Utah, where he died suddenly at his desk in 1990, from a massive heart attack. Devastated, Darby took her daughter to live near her sister in Florida, where she stayed until 2002, when her parents became ill. She spent four years taking care of them until, in 2006, her father died.

Four years out of the workforce and heartbroken, Darby had a nervous breakdown. She couldn’t work, she couldn’t eat, she couldn’t sleep. She eventually had to be hospitalized. When she got out of the hospital, she was out of cash and out of ideas. So she took to the streets.

“I’d still rather be indoors, but I’ve found great people here,” she said.

Indeed, she’s got a little crew of her own: Anthony, John and Chavonne all sit with her on milk crates along 15th Street. Before CityBeat showed up, they were chatting and laughing.

“Anthony took care of me,” she said. “He’s been out here 15 years. He helped me lay out my cardboard at night and showed me that Albertson’s would let us use their bathrooms.”

She’s looking for work—any work, she said—but she’s found a stable life for herself on the street. “There’s an extended family out here.”

And she has a warning for working San Diegans who look down on her: “I was where you were once. Don’t think it can’t happen to you.”

 

Write to ericw@sdcitybeat.com and editor@sdcitybeat.com.




 
 
 
 
 
 
Close
Close
Close