SELAH Founders

Cat Kim

Cat Kim

Cat is a native Angeleno. after moving back from New York working in PR and fashion, she wanted to give back to her community. She is on the board of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council, Vice President of the East Hollywood Los Feliz Homeless Coalition, and a member of the League of Women Voters.

 

Darius Derakshan

Darius Derakshan

Darius, a marketing and advertising professional, working for a major media company in Los Angeles. As a lifelong Angeleno, he was raised in Pasadena and later in Duarte, moving to the Silver Lake in 2012. Active in electoral politics and focused on social equity work, he currently serves as the At-Large Representative on the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s Governing Board and is Co-Chair of its Homelessness Committee. He is also a frequent volunteer and supporter of both People Assisting The Homeless and The Midnight Mission.

Dorit Dowler-Guerrero

Dorit Dowler-Guerrero

Dorit is a lifelong resident of Los Angeles County. In her 30 years in social service, she has worked in homeless services, the Los Angeles County welfare system, as Los Angeles County children’s social worker and in adult education. Currently she is the director of Lilly’s Place affordable housing.

Janet Kim

Janet Kim

Janet was born and raised in Los Feliz and is currently serving as the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council District B Representative and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Homelessness. She is currently a board member of the East Hollywood Los Feliz Homeless Coalition and an active volunteer with the International Rescue Committee Immigration Department and the League of Women Voters Homeless Action Committee. Her past and current experiences include work in public health, vaccine development, science and security policy, and business development.

Nithya Ramen

Nithya Raman

Nithya has a background of leadership in the non-profit sector. Transparent Chennai, a non-profit she founded in India, supported advocacy by and for the urban poor and informed public discourse and decision-making on urban policies. She has also worked on homelessness for City of LA, and continues to be engaged as a regular volunteer on the issue through SELAH and as the Co-chair of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Homelessness Committee. She lives in Silver Lake with her husband and twin toddlers. 


 

Community Advocates

Samantha Gordon Danner

Samantha Gordon Danner

Why did you want to be involved?
I wanted to be involved because I didn't feel my volunteerism on homelessness issues had enough of an outreach component. I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of our homeless neighbors and the problems they face in order to contribute to evidence-based, compassionate solutions to the issue of homelessness.

What's your vision for SELAH and our neighbors experiencing homelessness?
I hope that SELAH will continue to attract community members to care for and about our homeless neighbors, because I think this is what LA needs to be doing to break free from the current deadlock on homelessness issues. While I know that there are a lot of factors that contribute to the current homelessness crisis, and that we can't 'solve' the problem right away, SELAH and similar community organizations are making moves to help right now, when that help is most needed, just by physically showing up. I am looking forward to a future LA where communities join together to help their homelessness neighbors and thus drastically reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness.

Bryan Kramer

Bryan Kramer

Why did you want to be involved? 
My wife and I wanted to be more involved in the community. We started to attend Neighborhood Council meetings and eventually she became the the Board Treasurer; somehow, I ended up volunteering to be a NC Homeless Liaison. I met the leaders of SELAH at a city Homeless Liaison meeting and I was super inspired by their passion and competence. 

What's your vision for SELAH and our neighbors experiencing homelessness?
I see SELAH as a catalyst for coordinating efforts to end homelessness. Neighbors and neighborhoods joining together to advocate for the homeless in their respective communities and in the city at-large. Also, it's a nice way to spend every other Sunday with your neighbors.

Alexa Roman

Alexa Roman

Why did you want to be involved? 
I love the idea of people getting involved directly with their neighbors living on the street. One to one advocacy is powerful and compassionate.

What's your vision for SELAH and our neighbors experiencing homelessness?
I believe we can end homelessness in LA. In the meantime, the SELAH community can advocate for our neighbors in every way possible. We can provide more personalized support than the city can and we do it because we care about every human being. :)

 

Phillip Armstrong

Why did you want to be involved?
I'd previously served as coordinator of the Fullerton Homeless Outreach Collaborative, done street outreach with the Coast to Coast Foundation, and worked in the Warm Room homeless shelter in South Lake Tahoe.  I welcomed the opportunity to work with an organization of neighbors engaging with homeless neighbors.

What's your vision for SELAH and our neighbors experiencing homelessness?
SELAH: doing what we do neighbors experiencing homelessness: getting permanent housing with the services they want
Los Angeles: solving the housing crisis for all of its citizens

Cheryl Revkin

Why did you want to be involved? 
I’ve been feeding the homeless in my community every Christmas and Thanksgiving morning from a project at my house for 30 years.  Also, I’ve been active in the community for 40+ years and feel very concerned about everyone who lives here, including the homeless.

What's your vision for SELAH and our neighbors experiencing homelessness?
My vision is to have a complete access center for the homeless here in Echo park and silver lake where we can work with our people to shelter them permanently as well as meet emergency needs.

Cathy Takemoto

Why did you want to be involved? 
Met with SELAH in the summer of 2017, because I wanted the homeless helped with their trash perhaps through the LA Sanitation Department.

What's your vision for SELAH and our neighbors experiencing homelessness?
Actually I’ve found the homeless are in greater need of many other services other than help with their home environment. Which brings me to the hope for access centers where we can begin to provide a way back for those who have lost their way living in Los Angeles.