Stepping In: Darrell Rogers – Championing Compassion in Homelessness Advocacy

Sacramento Steps Forward is delighted to shine a spotlight on Darrell Rogers, a dedicated advocate for those experiencing homelessness in our community. Darrell volunteers actively for the Continuum of Care (CoC) and Sacramento Steps Forward (SSF). He currently serves on our CoC Board and the Partners with Lived Expertise Committee (PWLEC) and as a trauma-informed care trainer for SSF’s Housing Problem Solving training program.  


With a heart of gold and a commitment to service, Darrell’s journey into the volunteer space is rooted in his deep desire to help others overcome obstacles he once faced. As an integral part of our organization, Darrell embodies the spirit of compassion and empathy, working tirelessly to reduce homelessness and uplift marginalized populations, including youth, young men navigating the criminal justice system, and veterans. Read on to delve into Darrell’s inspiring mission, his impactful work, and his invaluable insights into volunteerism within the homeless response system. 

Photo by Community Solutions

Describe yourself, your role, and why you were motivated to work in the volunteer space. 


[I am] loyal to a fault at times placing the needs and welfare of others above my own. I’m motivated to work in this space to help others overcome obstacles that I previously faced. 



Tell us your organization’s mission and goals. What population(s) do you serve? 


To reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness. I work with a very diverse group. Youth, Young men navigating the criminal justice system, & veterans to name a few. 



Why is volunteering with your organization important? How does it lead to a long-lasting impact within our community?


 I have the unique opportunity to sit in rooms and look at this problem from more perspectives than just the person experiencing homelessness. The system analytics, developers, management, fiscal, and county & city officials! I never knew how deep and intricate things can be, so to be able to get this [information] and try my best to break things down in layman’s terms and foster understanding for those going through the system is huge because nobody really conveys that to the person sleeping in a tent. 



Share a success story of how volunteers have made a difference through your organization. 


During a Housing Problem Solving (HPS) training, I was contacted by a young lady already experiencing homelessness and who was also on the verge of losing her children. She knows I volunteer in this space. I was able to walk her through accessing HPS funds, and she is now successfully housed, gainfully employed, and has no issues with her children. Had I not known about the financial assistance that the HPS program provides, I wouldn’t have been able to help this woman and walk her through the process of applying for the funds and resolving her housing crisis.  



How can individuals or groups get involved with volunteering? Are there any specific requirements or qualifications? How can other organizations collaborate or partner with you?


 Individuals and groups can get involved throughout their everyday lives! I think it starts first with understanding. 



What other information would you like volunteers or the community at large to know?


This work is not easy at times and has the potential to re-traumatize! Create brave safe places to ensure that this does not take place. To create a brave space, one needs to be open-minded and understand that things can be hard for people to talk about. So, sympathizing when they are or have gone through things you do not know about or can fully understand is important.  

 Darrell Rogers is a shining example of inspirational leadership and dedicated volunteerism at Sacramento Steps Forward. His remarkable presence and unwavering commitment are complemented by a compassionate approach rooted in trauma-informed care. Darrell’s journey reminds us of the invaluable insights and wisdom that individuals with lived experience bring to the table.  


When asked how he celebrates service, Darrell stated: “I celebrate service by being open! Helping when and where I can…lots of time that’s just doing things to be of assistance in my daily life. Through his story and dedication to service, Darrell exemplifies the importance of approaching volunteerism with an “open mind and heart,” and states that volunteers bring a vulnerable side that helps with finding resolution. As we continue our efforts to address homelessness, Darrell calls us to create brave, safe spaces and to celebrate service in all its forms—big and small.  


See our interview video series with Darrell below, and follow us on our socials to hear more stories like these. 

April 24, 2024 | Published by Sacramento Steps Forward

The responses above reflect the views of the those interviewed and do not represent the opinions of SSF, the Sacramento Continuum of Care, or our partners. These interviews serve to highlight the diverse contributions of volunteers in the homelessness response system.