My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
  • Tue
    22
  • Wed
    23
  • Thu
    24
  • Fri
    25
  • Sat
    26
  • Sun
    27
  • Mon
    28
Barrio Art Crawl Jul 26, 2014 A free self guided tour consisting of murals, open studios, galleries, and local businesses throughout the Barrio Logan Arts District. Come enjoy art, live music, food, and vendors at places like La Bodega Gallery & Studios, Roots Factory, Union Barrio Logan, Glashaus, and more. 87 other events on Saturday, July 26
 
Sordid Tales
Challenging SeaWorld’s ‘commitment’ to wildlife protection
Arts & Culture feature
New business is illuminating the imagery found in science
Theater
Joint production by La Jolla Playhouse and San Diego Rep leads our rundown of local plays
Spin Cycle
Did Carl DeMaio’s partner overstep his authority by ousting business-association chief?
News
San Diego planning director’s uphill battle to create walkable communities

 

 
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