Meet Barbara

Click on the image or link below to hear Barbara’s story.

My name is Danielle Starks and I am a senior from Cincinnati, Ohio majoring in public policy and minoring in history. I am currently applying to law school and someday wish to start my own non-profit law office. I am interested in learning more about people that don’t have an opportunity to tell their stories to the wider public, as this is the kind of person I wish to work with in the future. In this regard, I think that homeless people are a much-ignored group. Throughout my years at Duke, I have explored several different avenues of helping people through utilizing the law in internships and classes. For instance, during the summer of 2009, I traveled to South Africa with DukeEngage to intern at a non-profit legal office where I helped women access rights, particularly working with homeless women who were being brutalized by the police.

This semester working with Barbara Little at Andover Apartments has really brought me back to thinking of the homeless women in South Africa. Housing for New Hope gave Barbara an opportunity to stand up for herself in the way that she could not do when she was without her own home. Upon first meeting Barbara, I thought she was very guarded and unhappy.  I never would have guessed then that I would come to see Barbara as one of the most positive people I have ever met. In the early stages of this project, I felt as if I were falling into the trap of telling Barbara’s story as one of terrible misfortune; a story meriting our pity. But that is not who Barbara really is. Barbara Little is a person of such strength and determination that I soon realized it was my task to make sure that these admirable traits are able to shine through her story regardless of the tremendous struggle that they accompany.


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