Updated: Jan 6
Roshone Atkins joined Dorothy Day House as our Director of Programs after trying every avenue of service work there is.
“It was just the money at first,” Atkins says of her first Human Service job with the Aids
Foundation of Los Angeles, “It soon became a rush that I appreciated. I wanted to try everything, so I bounced around from nursing to social work.”
Living a life of service for Atkins is a calling, not just a profession.
“I’ve tried to run away from this kind of work,” Atkins says with a smile, “But it always pulls me back in. This is what I was put here for – my purpose is to be of service to others.”
With a 10+ year career working in Berkeley, Roshone has worked with both agencies big and small and has had the opportunity to touch a lot of lives along the way. Having had experience living under the poverty line, she has a level of empathy that allows her to be incredibly effective at her work.
“There was one individual that I still think of from time to time,” Atkins says, “He had been living on the side of the freeway for about 7 years, and we had finally secured permanent housing for him. The transition for him was difficult – he was afraid to have his own place. Our whole team worked together to gradually get him acclimated – by setting up his tent in his living room for the first week, then moving him to a pallet on the living room floor, then to a mattress, adding a box spring after – until we finally moved his bed into the bedroom. Because he couldn’t sleep, we played sounds of traffic on his phone to soothe him. He is still housed to this day.”
“That’s what keeps me coming back each day,” Atkins added.
When Roshone isn’t making a difference in people’s lives, she enjoys crafting.