Mildred Roberts Helms


Community activist, encouraged the building of affordable housing in Clinton Hill. In 1972, she helped found the Clinton Hill Area Development Corp which built 151 units of housing in Clinton Hill Community Gardens. Mayor Sharpe James said, “She was a creative, wonderful, hardworking woman….With a ready smile, winning sense of humor, steel determination and courage, she opened doors for minority women.” The organization built several more developments in Clinton Hill. She was active in the neighborhood into her 90s, making sure no one bothered the residents and houses.

Namesake of Mildred Helms Park.

Helms early career was in a dress factory where she became head of the union. Worked for the office of Dependency Benefits until her retirement in the early 1970s. She was also a member of the Rent Control Board, appointed in 1974.

Born in Montclair, she graduated Central High.

Swearing in of the Rent Control Board, Mildred Helms, right.


“Mildred Helms, 95, Newark’s Mother Hen” Star Ledger Oct 22, 2002

Al Henderson Photos, Newark Public Library

Ken Gibson Photos, Newark Library

Roberts, Reginald, “It’s homes sweet homes for community activist” Star Ledger Aug 7, 1997

Terrell, Stanley, “Ms. Helms Won Recognition in Housing Rights” Star Ledger Jun 30, 1974