We’re thrilled to announce our inaugural HHLN Cohort!
Assistant Vice President
Ethos Real Estate
Ayesha Agarwal is Assistant Vice President of Affordable Housing Preservation at Ethos. In this capacity, Ayesha oversees acquisition and asset management of naturally occurring affordable housing (“NOAH”) deals, with the broader goal of preserving supply of affordable multifamily products in the Western United States. Previously, Ayesha supported the acquisition and development team in Tishman Speyer’s Los Angeles office, where she worked within the full spectrum of real estate subsectors. Prior to that, Ayesha was an investment banker at Lazard Freres & Co in New York. Ayesha began her career in the nonprofit space, working as a software engineer focused on clinical data management applications in a rural village in Western Kenya. Driven by the desire to bridge today’s vast wealth disparities, she hopes to bring her expertise in the for-profit development space to affordable housing and ensure the availability of price-stabilized housing stock for generations to come.
Program Officer, Homelessness Initiative
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Kristin Aldana-Taday is a Program Officer at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. She monitors current grants and supports the development, review, and presentation of grant proposals, with a focus on the Foundation’s Homelessness initiative. Prior to joining the Foundation, Aldana-Taday worked for the Liberty Hill Foundation, where she directed donor services with a focus on donor engagement activities and donor-advised funds. She holds a master’s degree in urban planning from UCLA, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and urban studies from UCSD. When she’s not listening to 90s hip-hop music or attending concerts, Aldana-Taday is learning about abolition and housing justice. She looks forward to working with a diverse housing and houselessness cohort engaged and ready to make change in the region. In addition, Coro’s professional development programming will increase her leadership skills and ways to think strategically, impacting her work at the Foundation and in the community.
Organizational Advancement & Marketing Project Manager
Los Angeles Mission
Monique Alvarado currently serves as the Organizational Advancement and Marketing Project Manager at the Los Angeles Mission where she supports projects within organizational advancement, communications, capacity building, and advocacy within Skid Row and Los Angeles. The through-line that has connected her work is a passion for cultivating human potential through the positive power of community and the arts. As a person with lived experience, she spends her time volunteering and advocating for homelessness, neurodiversity, artivism, and mental health in Los Angeles and Boston.
She was a member of the 2020 Heart 2 Heart: Southern California Racial Justice Dialogue Institute and the 2022 Racial Equity Action Institute with Southern California Grantmakers which deepened her interests in restorative justice dialogue and utilizing arts for change. Through Coro, she hopes to gain deeper perspectives on building restorative and generative practices that promote racial equity, diversity, and innovation within the homeless services sector.
EHS & Security Manager
The Center In Hollywood
Jason Brown is the safety and security manager at WET Design. While starting at WET as the security manager, Mr. Brown oversaw a team with 24-hour oversight of 250 employees and equipment and proprietary products with a value in the millions. Shortly after, Mr. Brown became a first-aid instructor and began his tenure as the company safety manager, operating in regulatory compliance, teaching classes in safety training, managing claims of workplace injuries, and assessing and disposing of hazardous waste materials. While arranging company volunteer efforts, Mr. Brown began to develop relationships with Los Angeles-based nonprofits such as the Boys & Girls Club, the Dream Project, and My Friend’s Place. It was during the later engagement that Mr. Brown discovered his lived experience of being unhoused is a tool for connecting and healing. In 2016, Mr. Brown started a volunteer engagement coined the ‘Grapefruit Gospel’, turning unhoused community members’ favorite meals into an expression of love by making said meals and sharing them with their chosen encampment family. The intention was to connect unhoused individuals with local nonprofits with the goal of housing. In 2017, Mr. Brown started to volunteer and would later be a staff member at First Presbyterian Church’s Winter Refuge shelter program. This shelter is a radical hospitality model and low barrier level of serving, with the intention of reaching the most imminently and medically at-risk individuals in the Hollywood area. Starting in 2018, Mr. Brown became a member of the Board of Directors at the Center in Hollywood, where the model is ending isolation and homelessness through community. In 2019, Mr. Brown helped co-found a pioneering program called the ‘Urban Sanctuary’, where Blessed Sacrament Church opened their sanctuary to allow the unhoused community to sleep during the day. While the program was a pilot that was slated to last two weeks in April, it went throughout the rest of the year where the sanctuary saw on average 50 people a day, with no calls to law enforcement. Through Mr. Brown’s nearly 20 years in the security industry, he has learned experience of de-escalation; which he proudly utilizes within the capacity of outreach and shelter-based environments.
Problem Solving Program Manager
Yohanna Browne is currently the Problem Solving Program Manager with Special Services for Groups, Inc (SSG)/ Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System (HOPICS), based out of South Los Angeles. As program manager, Yohanna provides direct support, oversight, and supervision to four Problem Solving Specialists and a Hospital Liaison. She spearheads program implementation and integration agency-wide. She serves as the primary liaison with funders and ensures compliance with the contracted scope of services and management of the budget. Yohanna also serves as a board member of Faith in Christ Ministries (FICM), a faith-based nonprofit organization, serving individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness. She also volunteers at FICM in the food program. Yohanna hopes to gain the knowledge and skills as a leader to empower and build up individuals who are also passionate about serving people affected by houselessness. She also seeks to better understand her strengths as a leader and how best to navigate and support a team of people through challenges.
Director of Programs
My Friend’s Place
Erin Casey, LCSW, is the director of programs at My Friend’s Place in Hollywood, CA, and has 18 years of experience creating and implementing trauma-informed services and programs for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness in a drop-in, community healing setting. Erin earned her MSW from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her BA in Sociology and Women’s Studies from the University of Minnesota, Morris. In her direct youth care, program development, staff supervision, and advocacy, Erin centers the experience of homelessness as an issue of social, racial, and economic justice. People and relationships are her hobbies, especially with her two very old dogs, Lucky Jones, a one-eyed shih-tzu, and Logan, a mini dachshund. She has become the person who has a dog stroller. Erin hopes that this experience is a charging station.
Abundant Housing LA
Cynthia Clemons has worked for homeless service organizations on the east and west coasts. Before joining Abundant Housing LA, she worked with people experiencing homelessness as a case manager. Working inside a shelter and directly with clients, she learned about the root causes of homelessness, the realities of living without permanent shelter, and the barriers to becoming housed.
Desiring to make a bigger impact on housing policies in the community, Cynthia became involved with Abundant Housing LA and soon joined the organization as a Field Organizer, bringing local communities together and building policy access for all.
Cynthia’s experience also includes serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Crimea, Ukraine, and teaching English as a foreign language. From her Coro participation, Cynthia hopes to gain knowledge and tools for collaborating with people across the most crucial industries that are key to making housing first policies a Los Angeles reality.
District Director and Homeless Services Administrator
City of Los Angeles, Council President Paul Krekorian (CD 2)
Lorraine Diaz is District Director for LA City Council President Paul Krekorian. In this role, she oversees field operations in Council District 2 and works in collaboration with stakeholders across diverse communities. As Homeless Services Administrator, she oversees all of the districts’ homelessness initiatives. These include the City’s first drop-in services Navigation Center, three Tiny Home Villages, two A Bridge Home interim housing sites as well as several service-led pilots for people experiencing homelessness.
Lorraine is also a volunteer puppy-raiser for the Guide Dogs of America and is currently raising a yellow Labrador named Vienna. When she is not using her creative problem-solving skills at work, she can be found doing a variety of DIY projects in her garage. With her Coro participation, Lorraine hopes to enhance her leadership abilities, build strategic relationships and enhance her ability to affect positive change at work and in the community.
Associate Director of Grants Management & Compliance
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)
Dr. Anthony Felix was born and proudly raised in East Los Angeles, He had anything but an average upbringing since he did not live with his parents. Anthony has earned an A.S. in Administration of Justice, a B.S. in Criminal Justice, an M.P.A., and a doctorate in Public Administration. Additionally, he is a proud U.S. Navy veteran, public servant, and father of four daughters ages four to twenty-two. Presently, Anthony works for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) as the Associate Director of Grants Management and Compliance where he collaborates with homeless services providers to ensure they have the financial resources to provide homeless and housing services. In his spare time, Anthony volunteers with nonprofits to connect with unhoused in the skid row community and has previously run for U.S. Congress. After the Coro Leadership Program, Anthony hopes to take what he’s learned and apply it to his work.
Assistant Project Manager
Thomas Safran & Associates
Haley holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from USC’s Price School of Public Policy. Prior to arriving at Price, she attended community college and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at UCLA. Haley has worked as a project coordinator and later research associate at various nonprofit and institutional organizations.
Haley believes in fairness and is passionate about creating opportunities for all. She immigrated to the United States at 16.
Senior Staff Attorney
Communities for a Better Environment
Jennifer Ganata is the Senior Staff Attorney at Communities for a Better Environment (CBE). She is based out of CBE’s Southern California office in Huntington Park. Much of Jennifer’s work focuses on the intersection of housing and environmental justice. Her previous work as a tenants’ rights attorney and an environmental justice youth organizer has shaped the way in which she advocates for equitable development. Outside of work, Jennifer is interested in community land trusts, gardening, and building a better relationship with our surrounding ecology.
Jennifer hopes to create relationships with other participants that help ensure housing and environmental justice. As we experience climate change and understand more about the long-term impacts of pollution, we must recognize that housing is a public health concern just as much as environmental justice.
Acting Director of Data Management
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)
Simyrna Gonzalez is the Acting Director of Data Management at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). In the role of director, her responsibilities include operational and strategic data management. Simyrna develops, implements, and completes projects while ensuring high data quality based on regulatory standards. She also manages resources and the budget, oversees information collection in the business data warehouse, supports the building of analytic solutions using various big data techniques and tools, and documents these solutions and the technical data architecture.
Simyrna’s civic and extracurricular interests are to engage local government in developing solutions to ending homelessness. As a participant in Coro, she hopes to gain cross-sectoral homelessness leadership skills and advance her network to assist in kindling action to provide better solutions and services to individuals experiencing homelessness.
Disability and Accessibility Strategist
C Talent at Whalar
Accessibility and Disability Commission of City of Pasadena
Andrea Jennings, M.Mus. is a sought-after consultant, speaker, moderator, and panelist for numerous diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) panels advocating for social justice through the lens of Disability culture, film, music, and art. She is the Chair of the Accessibility and Disability Commission for The City of Pasadena, and Disability and Access Strategist for C Talent at Whalar, where she integrates accessibility beyond compliance and drives sustainable impact. She’s the Founder of Shifting Creative Paradigms and Co-Founder at RAMPD. Andrea’s work has been featured at Park Avenue Armory, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rutgers University’s Jack Tchen exhibitions and recognized by Forbes, Billboard Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, and The New York Times.
Senior Vice President of Southern California
Covenant House California
Lailanie has dedicated her life to improving the education and well-being of children. From her summers as a young girl, serving in orphanages all over the world, to her previous role as Executive Director of Precious Lamb in Long Beach, California, Lailanie is passionate about helping and empowering others. The organization served children of families living in shelters, domestic violence programs, and substance abuse centers, and provided holistic support for the entire family. Currently, Lailanie is the Senior Vice President of Southern California at Covenant House and oversees all Los Angeles programs, including shelter, transitional living programs, and clinical and support services. Lailanie is excited to be part of Coro, and get to know other people and agencies in LA who are dedicated to and passionate about the important work of housing and houselessness. When not at work, you can find Lailanie cooking for friends and family, and most of all enjoying time with her husband Scott and their two beautiful girls, Juliana and Evelyn.
Chief External Affairs Officer
Los Angeles City Planning Department
Yeghig Keshishian is a seasoned policy advisor and stakeholder engagement executive with over 15 years of experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
He serves as the Chief External Affairs Officer at Los Angeles City Planning, where he oversees the Department’s communications, outreach, and legislative agenda. While at City Planning, Yeghig established the External Affairs Division to provide clarity and accuracy in news and features that highlight planning in Los Angeles. During his time at City Planning, he has implemented inclusive outreach strategies that have led to greater citizen engagement across larger cross-sections of the City. Yeghig has also been responsible for the passage of numerous land use initiatives that have led to the production of more housing units, ranging from mixed-income to affordable projects.
In his prior roles, Yeghig led major regional and national organizations, during which time he set the policy agenda for Los Angeles’ preeminent business trade association; ran the Western Region office of a nationwide nonprofit, spearheading its federal advocacy; and, managed the grassroots re-election campaign for a Congressional Member.
He is excited to join the ranks of Coro’s Leadership Network and be a part of the local discussions on housing as a public servant alongside other civic leaders.
Director of Development and Community Engagement
Hollywood Food Coalition
Asher is the Director of Development and Community Engagement at Hollywood Food Coalition, where he oversees meaningful partnership-building with community stakeholders, including nonprofits, foundations, elected officials, government agencies, companies, restaurants, and volunteers, among others. He also oversees the Community Wellness program, which focuses on effectively connecting the hundreds of dinner guests that visit Hollywood Food Coalition each night with housing, healthcare, and other wellness resources. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Asher is also a board member of his local neighborhood council, conducts outreach with SELAH, and is a member of Hollywood 4WRD. Jonathan Gold is a hero of his, so you can guess what he does in his free time. Asher is excited to start engaging with the Coro leadership network, so we can collectively begin to undo the systemic and structural causes of our homelessness crisis and develop an intelligently-built, compassionate social safety net that truly meets the needs of Angelenos everywhere.
Director of Access and Response Systems
County of Los Angeles
Rowena has over 15 years of experience working in the homeless services and healthcare fields. She has been with the Homeless Initiative Office within the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office since 2017. Rowena focuses on homeless outreach strategies; special populations, such as older adults and women; and strengthening partnerships between County departments, homeless service providers, Councils of Governments, cities, and other stakeholders. Prior to her current role, she worked for the County Department of Health Services in government relations and homeless services.
Rowena earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is excited to be a part of the Housing and Houselessness Leadership Network because she hopes to make connections with new partners in the field and enhance her leadership skills to better serve those experiencing homelessness.
Director of Permanent Supportive Housing Services
Thomas Safran & Associates
Dr. Hanna Mark is the Director of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Services at Thomas Safran & Associates (TSA). Her main responsibilities include overseeing partnerships with service providers across TSA’s portfolio, incorporating evidence-based policies and practices into TSA’s approach to PSH, bolstering housing security for vulnerable residents, and advocating for improved PSH systems across the County. She came to TSA with nearly 15 years of experience working with social services and holds both an MSW and a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. Hanna is excited for the opportunity to knowledge-share with the other members of this cohort and is hopeful that doing so will improve our collective ability to generate some positive systems-level change—particularly as it relates to dismantling the bureaucracies that are making the process of getting people into housing so slow.
Senior Director of Clinical Programs
Downtown Women’s Center
Gina Murdock, LCSW, is the Senior Director of Clinical Programs at Downtown Women’s Center (DWC). Gina received her master’s degree in Social Work from USC and has worked in community mental health since 2008. Currently, Gina oversees all aspects of DWC’s ACCESS Center Case Management, Trauma Recovery Center, Outreach & Engagement, and Domestic Violence Rapid Rehousing programs. Gina is deeply committed to addressing homelessness while building and supporting teams on the front lines of service provision. Through her engagement with Coro, she looks forward to building community with other leaders in homeless services and gaining perspective by learning from the cohort’s collective experiences.
San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust
Brielle is the Manager of the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust. Her work includes affordable housing lending and interim housing development. She serves on the Sylmar Neighborhood Council and is committed to addressing housing and equity needs in Los Angeles. She hopes to build partnerships through Coro.
Orange County Department of Education
Elida is a social worker focused on the fields of education, community advocacy, program implementation, and evaluation. She has experience creating support systems and managing programs to serve students, families, teachers, and administrators. She has bridged the gaps between students and families by building partnerships, securing funding, and ensuring a pipeline for future success.
Most recently, she has focused on unhoused McKinney-Vento and foster youth, community schools, and women’s empowerment initiatives in the UC system. Elida currently participates in the Continuum of Care Board as a McKinney-Vento and education representative. She serves on the Transitional Age Youth Committee, Homelessness Providers Forum, and Collaboration to Assist Motel Families. She obtained a master’s in Social Work from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in Social Ecology and Criminology, Law, and Society from the University of California, Irvine. Elida is passionate about leading teams and is dedicated to creating systemic change in multidisciplinary settings.
In her spare time, she loves to run, read, and recharge by spending time with her family outdoors. She hopes that the Coro program helps her to build relationships and provides the skills needed to enact positive change in the community.
Los Angeles County Development Authority
Treasure Sheppard is an Analyst in the Community Development Division of the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA). Treasure manages reporting on Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), HOME Investment Partnerships, and Fair Housing programs, acting as a liaison between the federal government (Housing & Urban Development – HUD) and local municipalities and community-based organizations.
Before entering urban development, Treasure worked as an Operations Manager leading emergency preparedness and community outreach initiatives at Lake Avenue Church (LAC). In addition to her work at the LACDA, Treasure serves her community as a Commissioner to the City of Pasadena’s Recreation & Parks Commission, Member of the Pasadena Continuum of Care Board, and President of the Pasadena Recreation & Parks Foundation.
Treasure is currently completing her Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership at Northeastern University and hopes that participation in Coro’s HHLN will inform her dissertation on the role intersectoral collaboration plays in health equity and community resilience.
Homeless Services Special Projects Coordinator
City of Long Beach, Department of Health and Human Services
Alvin is the Special Projects Coordinator with Homeless Services in the City of Long Beach and is responsible for strategic planning and the creation and implementation of pilot programs. These programs include Long Beach’s three Homekey Program projects (including the conversion of two motels into interim housing and the development of a modular shelter unit village), the City’s alternate crisis response teams, mobile homeless services access centers, and the Point-in-Time Count. He previously worked in Long Beach Development Services as a Planning Analyst and in the City Manager’s Office as a Management Assistant. With a Master of Public Policy from UCLA Luskin, Alvin is interested in the intersection of racial and socioeconomic injustice and how governmental and community organizations can co-create systemic solutions. He is excited to participate in HHLN to gain tools to mobilize effective and empathetic teams that can impact our greatest regional crisis — homelessness and housing insecurity.
Senior Director of Housing
Downtown Women’s Center
Rosario Trejo is the Senior Director of Housing at the Downtown Women’s Center and oversees a multi-disciplinary team that provides client-centered services at every stage of the housing stabilization process. Rosario holds 8 years of experience working with diverse populations including men, women, and adolescents, and is certified as a substance abuse counselor.
She is an LA native and grew up in El Sereno, a neighborhood in Northeast LA. She has two pets, a 16-year-old cat named Kiki and a 10-year-old Yorkie/Maltese named Hulk. She enjoys live music, Dodger games, concerts, reading, and spending time with loved ones. Her favorite food is her mom’s carne guisada (beef stew) and her comfort food is ice cream.
Director of Communications
Sara Williams is the Director of Communications at Century Housing, which finances, builds, and operates exceptional affordable housing. Century’s mission is to provide community members with dignified homes, healthy and hopeful futures, and pathways to economic independence. In her role, Sara oversees the marketing and communications department. She also leads and executes campaigns and projects with Century’s teams and partners across California. Sara has nearly 20 years of experience in nonprofit external affairs and television news production. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from New York University and bachelor’s degrees in journalism and international relations from the University of Southern California. In her free time, Sara enjoys volunteering, hiking, traveling, and refining her pie-baking skills. Through the Coro program, she hopes to build relationships with other changemakers and find ways to positively impact narratives about housing and homelessness.