President & Chief Executive Officer
Wellnest Emotional Health & Wellness
Housing Development Construction Manager
Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority
Director of California State Policy
Corporation for Supportive Housing
Senior California Policy Fellow
National Alliance to End Homelessness
Ludmilla Bade is a second-generation Californian who has lived and worked in Alameda, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Mendocino and Sonoma Counties, and is currently living near Santa Rosa, California. She graduated early from high school and worked in several fields before returning to college, including the arts, office and accounting, food service, grocery, retail, property management, organizing and decluttering, and as a caregiver.
After her father moved into assisted living, she could not afford market rents and became homeless. She moved into a small trailer which she drove to work and at night parked at various places on the streets, moving every day or two. For a few months she lived in a community with several others where the owner provided showers, toilets, and electricity, until code enforcement officers removed everyone with less than 30 days notice. She was homeless for almost three years before finding a home in shared housing through Share Sonoma.
During her experience of homelessness, she volunteered to serve as a lived experience member of the Sonoma County Continuum of Care Board (CoC). She has subsequently been active on several homeless resolution subcommittees such as Strategic Planning, Income Increase, and the CoC Funding and Evaluation Committee. Ludmilla was instrumental in developing Sonoma County’s Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) and has served in an advisory capacity to the Benioff study of homelessness. In September 2022, Ludmilla was asked to serve on the Advisory Committee to the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH).
Since 2003, Al Ballesteros has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of JWCH Institute, Inc., a federally qualified community health center based in Los Angeles. In service to the region’s most socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, JWCH operates 35 locations and a wide range of primary care, oral health services, behavioral health, chiropractic, substance use disorder treatment, residential and outpatient locations, 286 recuperative care beds for the homeless, two sober living programs for women and women with children, homeless and HIV outreach programs, and specialty care services. The organization operates four medical mobile health units and one dental care mobile unit. In 2021, JWCH delivered more than 325,000 medical encounters and employed approximately 1,025 medical professional and support services staff. Ballesteros possesses a Master of Arts Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Relations from California State University, San Jose.
For more than 30 years, Al Ballesteros has interacted with elected and government officials in federal, state, and local capacities regarding the HIV epidemic and system of care. In 1992, Ballesteros was appointed to the Los Angeles County Ryan White Planning Council, now the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV. He has three times chaired this commission. Ballesteros is also a member of the L.A. Care Health Plan Governing Board, elected by the local FQHC’s to represent their interests and currently is the Vice-Chairman. The L.A. Care Health Plan Governing Board term is an eight-year commitment and Ballesteros has been serving six-years. Lastly, Ballesteros serves on the Board of Directors of the Healthcare LA IPA, with more than 600,000 Medicaid Managed Care members delegated to local FQHCs and FQHC Look-a-Likes and safety-net health centers.
Ballesteros’ community work includes serving as a faculty member of the National LGBT Health Education Center, Fenway Institute. He is also a past board member of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. Other past organizational affiliations include the Los Angeles Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian Community Task Force; the board of directors of Being Alive: People with HIV/AIDS Action Coalition in Los Angeles; and past member of the National Board of Directors of NAPAFASA, a national nonprofit addressing substance misuse within Asian American and Pacific Islander populations. Ballesteros is also the co-founder and current publisher of Adelante Magazine.
A native of Los Angeles, Ballesteros attended Los Angeles City College, San Jose State University, and the University of Phoenix. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and a master’s degree in Business Administration. He brings to the role a deep background in social justice issues and a long and personal understanding of the importance of universal access to high-quality healthcare.
“Basic access to healthcare should not be just about physical health,” Ballesteros says. “Many of the issues that cause a person to be physically ill can be prevented and addressed with proper access to housing, basic nutrition, health care, substance-abuse treatment and mental health care.”
Samantha Batko is a principal research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute. Her research focuses on homelessness, housing instability, housing assistance, and supportive services. She has expertise in several US Department of Housing and Urban Development homelessness programs, including homelessness prevention, emergency shelter, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing. She is currently a principal investigator of an evaluation of Tipping Point Community’s Chronic Homelessness Initiative in San Francisco, the Los Angeles County Women’s Needs Assessment, the HUD-DOJ Pay for Success Permanent Supportive Housing Demonstration, the New Jersey Keeping Families Together program, an evaluation of Hamilton County’s FUSE permanent supportive housing project. She led the development of the Emergency Rental Assistance Priority Index and targeting tool. Her other current projects include a national project on Housing Justice. Past projects include a national evaluation of the US Department of Labor’s Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program, a study of community COVID-19 homelessness responses, an evaluation of Hamilton Families rapid re-housing program, and a study on the costs and benefits of ending homelessness. Before joining Urban, Batko spent 12 years at the National Alliance to End Homelessness, where she developed expertise in homelessness and housing policy, research, and technical assistance.
As President and CEO of Amity exceptional skills as a Foundation, Mr. Bond leads all facets of the organization, bringing his community builder and visionary leader seeking continual systemic improvements for marginalized populations. He currently oversees dozens of contracts for Amity Foundation in California, and Arizona including four residential campuses serving over 500 people with histories of criminal justice system involvement, addiction and homelessness per day. He is currently developing 300 units of permanent housing and over 200 more beds for residential services. Under his leadership, in 2019 Amity was awarded the Specialized Treatment for Optimized Programming (STOP) contract, which is the primary contractor for LA County parole services funding over 80 reentry sites in LA. Most recently, Amity was awarded three regional contracts to provide In-Prison Substance Use Disorder Treatment services and other Juvenile Justice contracts spanning 21 prison locations throughout the state of California, serving over thousands of individuals per year. In 2020 Doug also led the implementation of the Returning Home Well Initiative, a $30 million dollar private/public partnership to provide coordinated reentry services for individuals reentering the community early from incarceration due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Mr. Bond has been instrumental in expanding the California services which has gone from serving 2,000 people to over 20,000 people a year. He has helped to ensure that people with lived experience have the same opportunities he has been given and has been a champion in hiring those who have been formerly incarcerated. He has also been part of the design and management team for the Just In Reach (JIR) jail project which works to serve some of the most at risk for recidivism and homelessness in Los Angeles.
Most recently, Mr. Bond joined the National Foster Youth Institute Board along with Representative Karen Bass of California. Mr. Bond is the Chair of Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership (LARRP) and World Federation of Therapeutic co sits on the Board of Directors of the communities (WFTC), Treatment communities of America (TCA), the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Program Executives (CAAPDE), CASA Los Angeles, and Episcopal Community Services. Since 2008 Mr. Bond has been dedicated to systems change and collaboration with nonprofit agencies and is deeply committed to helping those he serves move from a place of degradation to dignity.
Carolyn Coleman brings over 25 years of experience as a leader and an advocate in the public and private sectors to her role as executive director of the League of California Cities. Cal Cities is the largest statewide association that advocates for cities at the state and federal levels and provides education and training services to elected and appointed city officials.
She joined Cal Cities in December 2016 after a decade with the National League of Cities (NLC) in Washington, D.C., as senior executive and director of federal advocacy. During her tenure at NLC, she oversaw the organization’s advocacy efforts and worked closely with city leaders from across the country and the 49 state municipal leagues to advance policies within Congress and the White House that support local programs related to community and economic development, public safety, and infrastructure.
Prior to working with NLC, Coleman served as deputy mayor for the city of Indianapolis where she focused on affordable housing, homelessness, economic development, infrastructure, and community engagement initiatives. She previously practiced law and held marketing leadership positions in the private sector. In addition to her professional endeavors, Coleman serves on the board of trustees of the University of Indianapolis and on the dean’s cabinet at the McGeorge School of Law. She also serves on the Public Policy Institute of California’s Statewide Leadership Council.
Joe Colletti, PhD is the CEO of the Hub for Urban Initiatives and an Affiliate Associate Professor of Urban Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California and the co-founder of the seminary's Office for Urban Initiatives.
His work and teaching largely focuses on the issues of affordable housing, fair housing, and homelessness. He has worked with numerous jurisdictions throughout California helping them develop homelessness action plans, complete annual Continuum of Care Program applications, conduct HUD required unsheltered and sheltered homeless counts, and design and implement projects and programs based on evidence-based, best, promising, and emerging practices aimed at preventing and ending local homelessness.
He has also written many grant applications over the years for non-profit and faith-based organizations for Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. He also leads strategic planning forums and workshops that help continuums of care, counties and cities shape local policies regarding homelessness based on their local data and research.
In response to the affordable housing needs and homeless services of California, he established the Homeless and Housing Strategies for California web site to help local stakeholders and decision-makers shape local policies to solve homelessness and increase affordable housing including permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing programs. He also helped establish the Southern California Continuums of Care Alliance and convenes the meetings in collaboration with all the region’s continuums of care and appropriate federal and state partners.
His current research regarding homelessness focuses on mortality prevention efforts among people experiencing homelessness languishing on the streets, including those with life-threatening illnesses and terminal illnesses, while vulnerable to lethal accidents, infectious illnesses, homicide, and suicide. His current research also focuses on trauma-informed care and design and how to further its tenets as widely accepted evidence-based best practices.
Charlene Dimas-Peinado joined Wellnest in 2016 as its new President and CEO, to lead the nationally recognized trauma informed behavioral health organization in Los Angeles into its next phase. Throughout her career, Charlene has been inspired by the communities and people she serves. “Every child and family have a story and their stories have meaning and, like a ripple of water, they affect our community,” she has said. “Our objective is to make a positive impact on those we serve — one that improves a life, improves our community.”
Charlene combines the big-picture perspective of a visionary, hands-on executive, and the insights of an experienced licensed psychotherapist in her quest to help children, young adults and families lead emotionally healthy lives. She calls upon 30 years of experience in behavioral health and non-profit organizations. She is the first Latina President & CEO of Wellnest since its founding in 1924 and provides overall leadership and strategic direction as it approaches 100 years of community service.
She has broadened the organization’s financial health - current annual budget of $32M - with her expertise in public and private contracts to expand best-in-class, compassionate, trauma informed care to children, youth, and families. Under her leadership, the organization created a new brand identity – Wellnest; completed construction for the State-of-the-Art Life Learning Center; expanded core services to include transitional and permanent supportive housing for transition age youth; completed Wellnest’s first Permanent Supportive Housing Development project – The Nest on Florence (July, 2022); and, is completing its second housing development, The Nest on Jefferson (Summer 2024).
As Wellnest’s fiduciary leader, and translator of its mission and vision, she ensures the organization is financially, politically, and operationally strong, as it provides best-in-class behavioral health and housing services while addressing the changing needs of its communities. She has experience in obtaining and providing direct oversight to multi-million dollar contracts (county, state & federal) targeting mental health and housing services with expertise in non-profit governance, audit and compliance, and regulatory matters. Additionally, she has spearheaded multiple fundraising and capital campaigns, which have raised millions of dollars, forged new partnerships, and leveraged the impact of donations from donors to provide critically needed services in underserved communities.
Charlene holds a Master of Leadership from University of Southern California, and a Master of Social Work from California State University, Long Beach. She serves on multiple boards including the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Quality Comp Inc.; Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Rotary LA5 and City Club LA.
Vitka is the President and Chief Executive Officer of HealthRIGHT 360, a healthcare provider for very low income and otherwise marginalized Californians. With over 30 years of experience in human services, Vitka has dedicated her career to supporting people and communities struggling with addiction and incarceration through the provision of integrated, compassionate, and relevant care. Since being appointed to her current role in 2010, Vitka has led HealthRIGHT 360 through a series of mergers, growing the organization to serve over 30,000 people annually.
A frequent speaker on innovative practices, Vitka is the secretary & treasurer of the board of directors of the National Council for Behavioral Health, the vice president of the board of directors of the California Association of Drug and Alcohol Program Executives, and the former president and current member of the board of directors of the California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies. Vitka earned an M.S.W. from San Francisco State University, and a Doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Vitka is a former injection heroin user; she participated in substance use disorder treatment over 30 years ago at the agency she now leads.
Dora Leong Gallo has worked in the community development field for over 30 years. Since 2003, she has served as President and CEO of A Community of Friends (ACOF), a nonprofit affordable housing developer whose mission is end homelessness through the provision of quality permanent supportive housing for people with mental illness. In her role, Ms. Gallo is responsible for execution of ACOF’s strategic priorities and is an advocate for increasing the supply of affordable homes for those most vulnerable. Under her guidance, ACOF’s portfolio has grown 240%. The organization currently operates 43 supportive housing communities throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, housing over 2,600 people.
Prior to joining ACOF, Ms. Gallo worked in local government for 12 years, for the City of Los Angeles in various capacities including six years for a local councilmember, as well as for the City of Culver City at its former Redevelopment Agency.
Ms. Gallo currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Enterprise Community Partners and is the Board Chair for the National Low Income Housing Coalition. She is a member of the Advisory Board for Building America CDE, and sits on the Affordable Housing Advisory Council for the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and the UCLA Ziman Center. Ms. Gallo is also a member of the Supportive Housing Alliance, a local advocacy group of supportive housing developers in Los Angeles County. Ms. Gallo previously served as Board Chair of the statewide Housing California, was a mayoral appointee to the City of Los Angeles’ Neighborhood Council Review Commission, and on the Board of Directors of the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), the MIT Alumni Association, the Asian American Architects & Engineers Association of Southern California (AAa/e), and the Southern California Association of NonProfit Housing.
Ms. Gallo received a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.
Jennifer Hark Dietz
A 15-year advocate in homelessness, Veterans, and mental health services, Jennifer leads PATH’s strategic direction, business management, and person-centered efforts across California. She guides the organization’s statewide initiatives, working alongside 900 staff with a shared commitment to establish permanent solutions to homelessness that are faster and more affordable. As the CEO, Jennifer manages the organization’s assets, direct mergers and acquisitions, analyzes risk for new projects and programs, and coordinates legal issues. Under Jennifer’s mission-driven leadership, PATH’s programs statewide have increased by more than 20 percent each year, increased operations from $15M to $140M, and expanded its reach from 4,000 Californians across 90 cities to 26,000 across 150. She also works with PATH’s real estate affiliate, PATH Ventures, with its housing portfolio’s rapid expansion to 2,150 units completed or in the pipeline.
Jennifer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Prior joining PATH, Jennifer worked at the Greater Los Angeles Department of Veterans Affairs, where she managed the nation’s largest program to help Veterans and their families find supportive housing. She currently serves on the Los Angeles Regional Community Veterans Engagement Board and is a partner with Social Justice Partners Los Angeles. Jennifer received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, double majoring in psychology and anthropology. She holds a master’s degree in social work (MSW) from the University of Southern California, where she later became an adjunct lecturer for the MSW course, Policy and Practice in Social Service Organizations.
Eric Harris was born in Berkeley, California and grew up in Sacramento. He was born with left congenital hip dislocation, which has led to him using a wheelchair. He spent countless days at Stanford Children's Hospital and Shriners Hospital for surgeries and for new braces, which helped him walk.
Growing up, Mr. Harris played any sport that he could, including baseball, basketball, tennis, golf, and flag football. While in high school, Mr. Harris found wheelchair basketball and his life changed. He joined the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP) in Berkeley, California, where he played on one of the most competitive high school basketball teams in the country. In his first season, Mr. Harris and the BORP Bay Cruisers went undefeated until the National Championship game in Philadelphia, PA. They would lose that game, but came back the next season more determined.
In 2004, Mr. Harris and BORP won the National Championship game, the first in the programs history. He was recruited to play in college and chose to attend the University of Arizona on a wheelchair basketball scholarship. Mr. Harris was selected as a member of the Under 20 USA Wheelchair Basketball Team that played in Brisbane, Australia. His team won the international championship, and he was selected as an all tournament team member.
Mr. Harris continued to play wheelchair basketball after college with the Golden State Road Warriors and is proud that he was one of the founding members of the Sacramento Rollin Kings. Mr. Harris was voted on by his teammates to be a captain on nearly every team that he played on. He also played wheelchair softball with the San Francisco Wheelchair Giants. Mr. Harris is passionate about adaptive sports and believes that they have the best athletes in the world.
While in college, Mr. Harris focused on public policy and worked for United States Representative Barbara Lee (CA). After his experience in Washington, Mr. Harris attended the University of Oregon School of Law. In 2012, Mr. Harris worked at the Democratic National Committee and worked on general policy for the western region and disability policy throughout the country. He spoke to the college democrats at the Democratic National Committee in Charlotte, North Carolina about issues impacting students with disabilities. The next year, he interned at the American Association for People with Disabilities in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Harris returned to California and worked as a campaign staffer for U.S. Representative Barbara Lee in Oakland and as a staffer for Sacramento City Councilmember Allen Warren. He then worked for the California State NAACP as their only legislative advocate working at the state level. He started to work at Disability Rights California in 2019 as a legislative advocate. Mr. Harris has done community work with disability leaders, community members and elected officials throughout the country. He is a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and attends Bayside Midtown Church in Sacramento, California.
Mr. Harris is a member of the State Independent Living Council as a Governor Newsom appointee, a co-chair of the Disability and Aging Community Living Advisory Committee (DACLAC) and a board member of the Resources for Independent Living in Sacramento. Most recently, he was named as a Diversability D-30 Disability Impact List Honoree, which is a selection of 30 Disability Advocates from around the world. He was also an invitee of Vice President Kamala Harris to attend the 32nd Anniversary Celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Harris and his wife Martina Sauceda-Harris live in Sacramento. Mr. Harris's parents, Mark and Mari, are professors at the University of California at Merced. His brother Martin is an attorney in Sacramento.
Charles Helget is currently Executive Director for the California Association of Veteran Service Organizations (CAVSA). He has been actively engaged in Veteran advocacy and policy development and implementation at a local, state and federal level. He has served as CAVSA Executive Director since 2014.
He has served as an Army Officer and legislative staff director, political and policy consultant and lobbyist. He is currently Director of Government Affairs for Republic Services. As a Government Affairs Director and Consultant, he has extensive experience in California and the Western States, organizing government affairs strategies for public organizations and private corporations and representing their interests before legislative bodies, state agencies and local governments. As a senior legislative chief of staff, corporate government affairs manager, and consultant, he has built an extensive network of public officials and community leaders throughout California, the Western States, and Washington, DC.
Janet Denise Kelly offers more than two decades of accomplishments in the housing and the nonprofit sector. Beginning her career in fair housing, Ms. Kelly developed a strong interest in housing issues and parlayed this interest into addressing housing issues, implementing community and economic development initiatives, and building affordable housing opportunities.
Leveraging an impressive portfolio of experience in nonprofit management, operations, mergers, and strategic planning, Ms. Kelly has proven to be an adaptive and responsive leader in the community. She is the founder and Executive Director of Sanctuary of Hope, an organization that provides stabilization services for Transition Age Youth, ages 16 -25, who are housing or economic insecure, child welfare or justice impacted, trafficking or domestic violence survivors, or at-promise in the South Los Angeles, South Bay, and Antelope Valley regions.
Throughout her career, Ms. Kelly has fostered good relations with the community. She has won many community service awards. She serves on youth service boards, is a member of local, state, and national housing organizations, and participates in economic revitalization activities. Most recently, she was selected to serve on the Steering Committee for Los Angeles County"s Black People Experiencing Homelessness Initiative.
Ms. Kelly’s greatest passion is South Los Angeles’ youth. She seeks to change the landscape of their future by bringing capital and social resources that will help them become successful and thrive. She was honored by the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce as the 2016 Business of the Year along with recent recognitions by the California Legislative Black Caucus as the 2021 59th Assembly District UnSung Hero and 2022 Black Women's Collective Trailblazers and Leaders.
Ms. Kelly serves as an elected delegate to the California Democratic Party for Assembly District 59. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California Los Angeles, holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and is the loving mother of 4 children.
Jody Ketcheside has lived in Fresno for thirty years. She has a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Criminology with an emphasis in Victimology. She has been working with homeless populations, including chronically homeless, homeless youth, homeless families, and survivors of human trafficking for 23 years. She began working with at risk youth in group homes, moved on as Shelter Manager for a local shelter serving homeless youth, and then became Manager of three transitional living programs for homeless youth. As Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Jody currently operates and provides oversight for programs that provide housing to Fresno’s most vulnerable populations experiencing homelessness for Turning Point of Central California, Inc. Additionally, Ms. Ketcheside is the current Vice Chairperson for the Board of Directors of the Fresno Madera Continuum of Care, and serves as Chairperson on the Board of Directors for the California Coalition for Youth, an agency that provides legislative advocacy for California’s runaway and homeless youth population.
Margot Kushel, MD is a Professor of Medicine at University of California San Francisco, and Division Chief and Director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, and Director of the UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative. She is a practicing general internist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Margot's research focuses on the causes and consequences of homelessness and housing instability, with the goal of preventing and ending homelessness and ameliorating the effects of homelessness and housing instability on health. She is the principal investigator of the ongoing NIA funded study, the Health Outcomes of People Experiencing Homelessness in Older Middle agE (HOPE HOME) study, which examines the causes and consequences of homelessness in older adults, and the principal investigator of the California Statewide Study of Homelessness. She speaks at a local, state, and national level about issues of homelessness, and frequently provides testimony to legislative bodies. She received her AB from Harvard College, her MD from Yale and completed residency, chief residency, and fellowship in internal medicine at UCSF. Margot is a Board Member of Housing California.
In 2002, Philip Mangano was appointed by President George W. Bush to be the Executive Director of the White House United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. In that role, he shaped and led the national strategy to prevent and end homelessness from 2002 - 2009, including in the transitional phase of the Obama Administration. During that time, the first documented decreases in homelessness nationally were achieved, including a 37% decrease in street and chronic homelessness and a 17% overall decrease in homelessness (2005-2009).
In his federal role, Mangano travelled more than one million miles, delivered more than 1,000 speeches, and established an unprecedented national partnership of 20 Federal agencies, 53 Governors of States and Territories, and over 1,500 Mayors and County Executives partnered in over 350 local jurisdictional Ten Year Plans to End Homelessness. The new national partnership was recognized and supported by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, National Governors Association, and International Downtown Association.
Mr. Mangano led the application of cost benefit analysis to the issue of homelessness, developing the now widely adopted economic case for ending homelessness. His work at the Council gained the attention of mainstream media and leading business thinkers, including best-selling authors Malcolm Gladwell, Jim Collins, and Clay Christensen, who lent their expertise to the Council’s strategies.
Following his work in Washington, Mangano established the American Round Table to Abolish Homelessness in 2009 and serves as President and CEO. The Round Table works with jurisdictional leaders across the country to advance their strategic response to homelessness, focusing on scaling the solution of housing through public and private sector partnership and investment. The Round Table is currently working in multiple sites in California, Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee to support jurisdictional scaling initiatives using the hotel/motel conversion strategy with public and private sector partners. Since the 2020 launch of California’s HomeKey hotel/motel conversion initiative, Mr. Mangano has been invited to address the Bipartisan Policy Council Summit on Local Solutions, Housing First Partners International Conference, CA State Association of Counties, and others on the scaling strategy and results.
Mr. Mangano is the co-convenor of a national advocacy initiative focused on the underserved and underresourced population of unaccompanied women who are homelessness. Unaccompanied women are more than 25% of the adult homeless population and growing in number.
In July 2019, CA Governor Newsom named Mangano to the Governor’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors, jurisdictional leaders and experts focused on strategic solutions to homelessness. Mangano serves as the Vice Chair of the VA Secretary’s Advisory Board on homeless veterans in Los Angeles. Mr. Mangano has been recognized for his work with numerous awards and honors including from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, TIME magazine, and the International Downtown Association. He was recognized for his influential work by the first International Conference on Homelessness Research, and he was the first and only federal official to be named Public Official of the Year by Governing magazine (2006).
Christopher Martin serves as the Policy Director at Housing California, where he leads the policy team in strategically advancing Housing California’s budgetary, legislative, and administrative advocacy priorities aiming to eliminate homelessness and provide affordable housing for all in our state. Chris also helps lead several coalitions and cross-sector partnerships that advance transformative affordable housing and homelessness policy solutions, including the Bring California Home coalition and the Roadmap Home 2030, a comprehensive, evidence-based, and equity-centered 10-year framework and policy package to advance racial equity, end homelessness and create stable, affordable homes for all Californians.
During his tenure at Housing California, Chris led advocacy efforts on bills to create a supportive housing program for Medi-Cal beneficiaries (AB 74, Chiu 2017), prohibit discrimination against housing voucher holders (SB 329, Mitchell 2019), as well as the Homeless Youth Act of 2018 (SB 918, Wiener 2018). Chris also led budget advocacy efforts contributing to historic housing investments of nearly $1 billion in 2019 and 2020 and the first of its kind investment of $1 billion created in the 2021-22 budget. He also sat on the Executive Steering Committee at the Board of State and Community Corrections for the Adult Reentry Program, which oversaw $50 million in funds to community-based organizations to support formerly incarcerated Californians in transitioning back to community.
Prior to joining Housing California, Christopher worked in the State Capitols of Illinois and Michigan, and the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C, where he worked for then-Rep. Tammy Duckworth to secure funding for homeless veteran care for various non-governmental organizations in Illinois and around the country.
Christopher brings a focus on evidence-based interventions to ending homelessness, grounded in Housing First principles and the fact housing ends homelessness. He has led panels at state, local, and federal conferences on housing first, state policy, and the intersections between health, re-entry, foster care, and LGBTQ+ and homelessness.
Christopher received a B.A. in both Political Science and Criminal Justice from Michigan State University.
Moriah McGill is a wife, mother of two young children and works as the Housing Development Construction Manager at Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority; a Tribally Designated Housing Entity that carries out housing related activities on behalf of seven federally recognized tribes in Northern California. Her position at NCIHA traditionally focused on housing and community development. In recent years, Mrs. McGill has shifted her focus to include program development; with the goal of not only constructing homes but to also building safe, affordable and sustainable communities for generations to come.
Moriah dedicates much of her time to advocacy for Tribal Entities to have equitable funding opportunities in affordable housing and social services. To strengthen her advocacy efforts, Moriah has a seat on the board of directors for the California Coalition for Rural Housing and is a member of Mendocino County’s Continuum of Care.
Since the pandemic, Moriah, alongside her colleagues, has brought in more than $24million in grant funds to NCIHA and has developed more than 10 new programs to support Tribes and their membership. These funding sources and programs include and are not limited to: Housing and Disability Advocacy Program, Project Roomkey, and Emergency Solutions Grant-CV (CDSS), Emergency Rental Assistance and Homeowners Assistance Fund (US Department of Treasury) and Indian Housing Block Grant Competitive Grant Program, Indian Community Development Block Grant American Rescue Plan and Indian Housing Block Grant CAREs and ARP (HUD Office of Native American Programs). One of the highlights of the grant awards includes the Housing and Disability Advocacy Program. This program was the catalysis for Moriah’s passion in bringing the divide in providing equitable and meaningful services to Tribal members experiencing homelessness in rural Tribal communities.
Moriah attributes her success to her colleagues and mentors and her drive to her beloved husband and children. “’There is much to do’ and I am up for the task”.
Luana Murphy, MBA from Pepperdine University, is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Exodus Recovery, Inc. She is the co-founder of Exodus Recovery, growing it from a single managed inpatient chemical dependency unit to the 54 programs that exist today at 45 program sites in Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties. Services include intensive case management programs, outreach programs, regional centers programs for the developmentally disabled/delayed with concurrent mental health diagnosis for youth and adults, substance use programs and, 24/7 facilities including crisis residential treatment programs, psychiatric health facilities, crisis stabilization programs (CSUs), interim housing programs, sobering centers, mobile crisis response teams and recuperative care bed services. Each year, Exodus assists more than 60,000 individuals on the path to health and well-being throughout the State.
Ms. Murphy’s healthcare career encompasses administrative positions within acute care hospitals, running an HMO, creating strategic partnerships with other healthcare provider organizations (medical groups and FQHCs to name a couple) and establishing a non-profit, Exodus Foundation, which supports Exodus Recovery as the entity responsible for housing assistance to Exodus clients and other means to reach their life goals, including master leasing over 100 beds to providing transitional housing. She was intensely involved in the MHSA stakeholder process and ensured that Crisis Stabilization Units (CSUs) were funded under MHSA. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Los Angeles County, Alternative Crisis Response Committee.
She and the company are dedicated to improving the healthcare delivery system until it is available to all of our friends and neighbors equally.
Alisa Orduña, PhD, is a practitioner, policy analyst, collaborator and thought leader in homelessness services in the United States. It is her life’s mission to re-imagine neighborhoods as beloved communities where residents experience belonging and have access to resources to thrive. She has worked on the cutting edge of nonprofit and public sector homelessness policy and programming in Philadelphia, PA; Los Angeles, CA; and Santa Monica, CA. She has also advised international guests from Brazil, Mexico, and China.
Dr. Orduña entered the homelessness policy field as a program manager at a large family provider in Philadelphia. She returned to her hometown of Los Angeles, CA in 2011 where she has since been at the forefront of homelessness policy and racial equity through prominent roles at the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, and most recently the Santa Monica City Manager’s Office. She currently manages her own consulting firm, Florence Aliese Advancement Network, LLC, where she works with US cities, counties, and communities to reimagine homeless response systems through a racial equity lens.
Dr. Orduña is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana (BA-English), the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (MPIA- Social and Economic Development), and Pacifica Graduate Institute (PhD and MA-Depth Psychology with a specialization in Community, Liberation, Indigenous, and Eco-Psychology). Her dissertation, Òṣun Consciousness: Unearthing Anti-Black Biases in the Homeless System Soul as reflected in the Sacred Histories of the African American Experience introduced an Afro-Feminine Indigenous approach to understanding and resolving the complex social phenomenon of homelessness and its impact on African Americans in the United States.
She continues to give back to the community through her service to the Los Angeles County Black People Experiencing Homelessness Implementation Committee, the Homeless Policy Research Institute Racial Equity Committee, the Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association Board of Directors, and the Xavier University of Louisiana So-Cal Alumni Association Board.
In her free time, Dr. Alisa enjoys laughing with her nephews, Afro-Brazilian dance, and writing. She is the author of Oshun’s Calabash, Dancing Across Cuba into the Memory of the Embodied African Soul & Finding Home and Unearthing the Feminine. Learn more: https://www.adordunaatwork.com/
As the Director for California State Policy at the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), Sharon Rapport advances a state policy agenda for solving homelessness. Ms. Rapport has been instrumental in passing CSH-sponsored legislation across issues affecting people experiencing homelessness, including legislation to create a Medicaid benefit for housing-based services (through AB 361 (Mitchell), the Health Homes Program), to align Medicaid-funded community-based services with State-funded housing (through AB 2483 (Maienschein)), to establish a streamlined process for building supportive housing (through AB 2162 (Chiu)), to form a program to fund housing and services for homeless child-welfare-involved families (Bringing Families Home), to put on the California ballot an initiative to repurpose existing bonds to create thousands of apartments affordable to veterans experiencing homelessness or poverty (through AB 639 (J. Perez), the Veterans Housing & Homelessness Prevention program), and to launch a program providing grants to counties to pay for rental assistance for homeless Medi-Cal beneficiaries with acute needs (through AB 74 (Chiu), Housing for a Healthy California).
Ms. Rapport has worked in collaboration with colleagues to offer technical assistance to California’s Departments of Health Care Services, Housing & Community Development, and Social Services. She works in partnership with other advocates and co-led efforts to establish the Bring California Home Coalition and the Coalition for Solutions to Homelessness Among Older Adults. She served on the Housing California Board for six years, where she was elected President of the Board from 2017-18. She has served on multiple councils, including an appointment to Governor Newsom’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors.
After living in nine different states, Janey developed a passion for tackling some of the most complex challenges facing American cities, from gun violence to police reform to homelessness. During her four-year tenure in the Chicago Mayor’s Office, she witnessed firsthand the power of data and research to transform how public agencies and systems serve people. With that vision in mind, she helped found the California Policy Lab in 2017.
Janey draws on her experiences as a government executive, criminal defense lawyer, nonprofit employee, and public school teacher to lead staff, develop partnerships with government leaders, and launch research projects at CPL. Improving policies and programs to better address the homeless crisis in Los Angeles is a large focus of her work, and she is also a member of the National Alliance to End Homelessness Research Council and Deputy Director of the Homelessness Policy Research Institute. She is the co-author of several CPL reports on homelessness in Los Angeles, including research focused on predicting and preventing homelessness.
Prior to joining CPL, she was Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety where she had direct oversight of the Chicago Police Department, Fire Department and Office of Emergency Management. She also developed policy on a wide set of issues, including police reform, public safety operations, domestic violence, and youth violence prevention in Chicago. To make violence prevention policies more effective, Janey engaged a diverse coalition of partners, including agencies working on school climate, behavioral health, and workforce development. During her tenure in Chicago, Janey worked closely with researchers to evaluate violence prevention programs and scale up the ones that were proven effective.
Before working in the Chicago Mayor’s Office, she served as senior counsel and Firearms Policy Coordinator in Michael Bloomberg’s administration, and helped lead Mayors Against Illegal Guns. In that role she led undercover investigations of illegal gun sales at gun shows and online gun trafficking. She has practiced law, taught high school, and worked in the nonprofit sector. She holds a B.A. from Williams College and a J.D./LL.M from Duke Law School.
Emilio Salas was appointed Executive Director of the LACDA on January 5, 2021, after having served as Acting Executive Director since December 2019. As Executive Director, Mr. Salas oversees approximately 600 full-time employees and an annual budget in excess of $869.5 million. Mr. Salas has worked for the agency since 1988.
Mr. Salas oversees the County’s Public Housing and rental subsidy programs, including the Housing Choice Voucher, Continuum of Care, Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing, Emergency Housing Vouchers, and other affordable and special needs housing programs. These programs combined create housing opportunities for over 30,000 vulnerable families throughout Los Angeles County. His oversight also includes financing for the development of special needs affordable housing, homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers, and administration of the largest urban County Community Development Block Grant Program in the nation.
Mr. Salas has led the LACDA’s operating Divisions to obtain noteworthy achievements to include its Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Programs receiving the designation of High Performer by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for 12 consecutive years. He has played an integral role in the County’s efforts to eliminate homelessness by removing barriers and creating greater accessibility to Federal housing resources and eliminating jurisdictional boundaries for County residents.
Under his leadership, the LACDA has financed the development of thousands of newly constructed units, with an emphasis on serving the most vulnerable populations such as persons experiencing homelessness, transition age youth, and survivors of human trafficking.
Mr. Salas has served as a Board Member for the California Association of Housing Authorities and as a member of the National Housing Committee for the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. He has also proudly served his country as a Military Intelligence Specialist in the United States Army, where he received specialized training in human intelligence collection and also served overseas.
A proud alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills, Mr. Salas graduated with honors and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Personnel Administration.
Miguel A. Santana has over 30 years of experience leading numerous fiscal, legislative, political, and community issues. He served as President and C.E.O. of Fairplex since 2016, a nonprofit community benefit regional organization based in Pomona, CA. Previously, Miguel was the City Administrative Officer for the City of Los Angeles, where he oversaw the City’s $9 billion budget and designed the City’s first comprehensive homeless strategy, resulting in a $1.2 billion voter-approved housing bond and a doubling of the City’s general fund investment on programs to end homelessness. Prior to joining the City, Miguel served as one of five Deputy Chief Executive Officers for Los Angeles County, overseeing all social service programs supporting children, families, veterans and persons experiencing homelessness.
Miguel was appointed President & C.E.O. of the Weingart Foundation in 2021. He engages in numerous civic efforts to create a more equitable Southern California region, including serving as Chair of the Committee for Greater L.A. He also serves on numerous nonprofit boards, including the Whittier College Board of Trustees.
Miguel has a B.A. in Sociology and Latin American Studies from Whittier College and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.
Doug Shoemaker serves as President of Mercy Housing California (MHC), the largest regional affiliate of Mercy Housing, Inc. With offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento, MHC develops, manages, and provides services to very-low income seniors, families, veterans and people that have been homeless. Since 1993, MHC has developed over 10,000 homes and currently has over 4,000 homes in development. With over 3,000 permanent supportive housing (PSH) units in its combined portfolio and development pipeline, MHC is one of the most active PSH developers and operators in California.
Prior to Mercy Housing, Mr. Shoemaker served as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD), San Francisco’s housing finance and community development agency. He led various key mayoral initiatives for then-Mayor Newsom, including spearheading the development of permanent supportive housing to support San Francisco’s first 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness.
Doug served previously for 5 years as Deputy Director of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH) and began his career at Mission Housing Development Corporation in San Francisco.
Sean Spear is the President & CEO of Community HousingWorks. Founded in 1988, Community HousingWorks (CHW) is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that develops, rehabilitates, preserves, and operates affordable apartment communities in San Diego and throughout California. CHW’s mission centers of the following statement, “Opportunity begins with a stable home.” To manifest this principle, Community HousingWorks provides and builds life-changing affordable apartment communities with resident-centered services for working families, seniors and people with disabilities to forge stronger futures. Sean is directly responsible for ensuring that the organization fulfills that mission every day.
Sean has served as a top local and state government leader in successive community development roles in the cities of New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and in Sacramento for the State of California. Prior to joining Community HousingWorks in 2020, Sean was the Assistant General Manager at the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department where he was responsible for leading its housing production efforts and directing the operations of its Housing Development Bureau. He also most notably served as the Executive Director of the California Debt Allocation Committee (CDLAC) from 2009-2015, administering the $3.8 Billion private activity bond program for California. Sean holds both graduate and undergraduate degrees from Cornell University, and is a member of the invitation-only Lambda Alpha International Society for Land Economics.
Reba Stevens is an advocate and activists who experienced homelessness for 21 years in Los Angeles. She has used her experience to promote approaches that will yield the greatest impact for anyone in a housing crisis.
She possesses a unique understanding of the mental health, criminal justice, and substance abuse treatment systems in Los Angeles County because of incidents she had with each one. A mental health diagnosis and health resources were the lynchpins to her successful road to recovery and journey out of homelessness. These life changing markers fuel her passion to ensure that mental health and substance abuse screenings and treatment are funded; and accessible and embedded in all facets of service delivery for people experiencing homelessness as well as those who are now housed after being homeless.
Reba’s service to community includes numerous cross-departmental appointments to strategic and major bodies that drive policy and practice in homelessness, mental health, criminal justice, and substance abuse areas. She currently serves on the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health-Service Area 6 Advisory Committee, Los Angeles City & County Office of Diversion and Re-entry Prop 47 Steering Committee, Los Angeles County Steering Committee on Black People Experiencing Homelessness, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Commission, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Continuum of Care Board, LGBT South Community Advisory Board, SPA 6 Homeless Coalition, USC Homelessness Policy Research Institute and USC/UCLA (PCHOOSE Study) Person-centered, housing, options, outcomes services & environment.
Her unabashed voice for equality and humility in serving people experiencing homelessness is largely documented in print and broadcast media such as the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, NBC Universal, Free Your Mind Projects Radio Show, KABC-AM (AM790), Hope on The Horizon MHSOAC News Publication, Making Sense of Measure H: Dr. Mitch Katz and Reba Stevens with Pat Prescott (94.7 The Wave), Unsheltered… New Possibilities TEDx Crenshaw (Ted Talk), and Strategic Concepts in Organizing & Policy Education (SCOPE).
Reba is a mother of 4, the fur parent of two lovely Boston Terriers Sage & Star, and a Los Angeles native.
Megan Van Sant
Megan Van Sant is a Senior Program Manager with the County of Mendocino and works collaboratively within the Departments of Social Services, Public Health, and Behavioral Health. She and her team manage a range of projects focused on health insurance coverage through Medi-Cal and Covered California, CalFresh outreach, complex care coordination for high-risk individuals through Whole Person Care and CalAIM, collaborative engagement with the criminal justice system, and a variety of programs and contracts related to housing and homelessness. She is responsible for the implementation of County of Mendocino’s Project Homekey site in Ukiah, as well as the primary manager responsible for the County’s Project Roomkey program during the pandemic. Her team are recent recipients of a Family Homelessness Challenge Grant award from Cal-ICH, and she supervises staff who perform the role of Administrative Entity for the Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care.
Megan grew up in rural Humboldt County. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a Master in Public Health degree from UC Berkeley. She is a former Peace Corps Volunteer, an elected school board trustee at Ukiah Unified School District, and the mother of two teenage daughters.
Alex Visotzky is the Senior California Policy Fellow for the Alliance, where he works to ground California’s response to homelessness in best practices and evidenced-based solutions. Prior to working for the Alliance, Alex worked for five years in local government, where he served most recently as the Director of Government Affairs for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), the lead administrative entity for the Los Angeles Continuum of Care (LA CoC). There, he directed LAHSA’s legislative, policy, and community engagement work. Prior to joining LAHSA, Alex worked for Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County, where he advocated for local and state policies to advance equitable land use, affordable housing, and affordable homeownership. He has a BA from Oberlin College and an MPP from the Price School of Public Policy at the University Southern California.
Jevon Wilkes is Executive Director of the California Coalition for Youth (CCY) and Director of Youth Engagement with the California Children’s Trust (CCT). His visionary and compassionate leadership has unquestionably improved the lives of California’s vulnerable youth through increased statewide funding, services, and programs in the areas of homelessness, workforce development, behavioral health care, child welfare, and juvenile justice.
At fourteen, Jevon experienced homelessness on the streets of Los Angeles, while involved in the foster care system. He attended his first CCY conference at the age of 15, and was immediately inspired by the change he could create by elevating the needs of youth like himself. In 2018, at the age of 28, Jevon became the Executive Director of CCY.
As the Executive Director of CCY, the only youth-serving organization in California that addresses policy and advocacy at the statewide level for youth experiencing homelessness, Jevon’s bold ideas, collaborative spirit, and nonstop pace have made him an influential leader and sought-after advocate in his community. Jevon has strengthened CCY’s infrastructure and financial capacity. In 2016, California was providing annual support of $2.8 million for services and housing for youth experiencing homelessness. Fast forward, and due in part to CCYs efforts, and Jevon’s leadership, the state has invested an additional $340 million of one-time funds including more to youth.
Additionally, under Jevon’s leadership, CCY runs the 24/7 California Youth Crisis Line (CYCL), managing 17,000+ calls/texts annually, and providing access to 5,500+ free or low-cost resources. Jevon has helped to increase volunteers from 46 to 140, with the majority being under the age of 25.
As a member of the leadership team at the California Children’s Trust, Jevon has been an essential actor in setting and adopting a reform agenda in California that is unprecedented in size and scope. Specifically, Jevon’s advocacy and leadership helped pave the way for the state’s creation of a $4.4 billion youth behavioral health Initiative—an historical investment in the social and emotional welfare of children and pediatric primary care across child serving systems, including community-based alternatives to juvenile justice and child welfare.
Jevon has dedicated over 17 years of his life to service that improves and empowers the lives of California’s most vulnerable youth to reach their full potential and thrive within loving communities. Drawing from this commitment he brings his professional and lived experience to several state advocacy tables including the Child Welfare Council, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Proposition 64 Advisory Group, and the CalAIM Foster Care Model of Care Workgroup. He also participates on the Sacramento Homeless Youth Task Force, and The Grand Challenge with A Way Home America.
Roxanne V. Wilson is a Monterey County native and has been working to end homelessness in her community for over 10 years. Having begun her career in direct services with Community Homeless Solutions, Central Coast HIV/AIDS Services, and Catholic Charities, Roxanne eventually landed at the Coalition of Homeless Services Providers – Monterey and San Benito Counties’ Continuum of Care (CoC) lead agency. During her term at the CoC, Roxanne led the community in several efforts like the federal 100 Day Challenge to End Youth Homelessness, operating the County’s second iteration of Project Roomkey, releasing the Lead Me Home 5 Year Plan to Reduce Homelessness by 50%, establishing a Youth Action Board, and hosting the very first Monterey County Summit on Homelessness. As the Executive Officer of the CoC, she played an integral role in substantially increasing funding for homeless services through HUD’s Youth Homeless Demonstration Program, the Family Challenge Grant, the Encampment Resolution Fund and several Project Homekeys. Most recently, Roxanne joined the County of Monterey as their newly created Homeless Services Director where she will focus on bridging services of many departments to form a robust and comprehensive approach to addressing the local homelessness and housing crises.