2019 DVHSC Summit

Event Info

Date: Thursday, August 8, 2019

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Location: DoubleTree by Hilton

120 S. Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Parking: Discounted venue self-parking is $12.00 per car and valet parking is $17.00 per car

Food: Refreshments, Continental Breakfast, & Lunch provided


View the list of speakers and their bios here.


Thursday, August 8th

8:00 – 9:00 Registration and Breakfast

9:00-9:15 Welcome | Amy Turk, Chief Innovation Officer, Downtown Women’s Center and Elizabeth Eastlund, Executive Director, Rainbow Services

9:15-9:30 CA State Senator Holly Mitchell | Introduced by Eve Sheedy, Executive Director, Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Counsel

9:30-9:45 Opening Remarks | Dr. Barbara Ferrer, LA County Department of Public Health

9:45-10:00 Get to Know The Audience Exercise | Michelle Tonn, Executive Director, Alexandria House

10:00-10:10 Spoken Word Performance | Suzette Shaw, DVHSC Advocate

10:10-11:00 Keynote | Susan Burton, Executive Director and Author, A New Way of Life

11:00-11:45 Lived Experience Panel |DVHSC Advocates: LaRae Cantley, Pamela Crenshaw, Tiffany Duvernay Smith, and Alma Vizcaino

11:45-12:00 Table Talk Discussion |All Participants

12:00-12:15 Call to Action |LaRae Cantley and Lisa Watson, CEO of Downtown Women’s Center

12:15-1:30 Lunch Featuring Musical Performance by Shugga Neal

1:30-2:45 Session 1 Workshops (see details below)

2:45 – 3:00 Break

3:00-4:30 Session 2 Workshops (see details below)

4:30 – 5:00 Closing Remarks| Elizabeth Eastlund and Amy Turk


Session 1 Workshops: 1:30 – 2:45pm


1.1  and 2.1 The Intersection of Race and Gender for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Homelessness

Room: Golden State Ballroom I & II

In the last four years, the Los Angeles Continuum of Care initiated two important conversations to highlight the needs of Black people and women experiencing homelessness. The work demonstrated the persistent over representation of Black people among the population experiencing homelessness is a troubling reality and a recognition that women experiencing homelessness face unique risks and challenges. The work further highlighted the need for action to address homelessness and domestic violence as an intersectional topic and to ensure that other unique populations are not excluded. This session will explore what are the actions we can take with this information, what is not being addressed, and what is the Coalition’s role to move action and solutions forward.


  • Alisa Orduna, Senior Advisory to the City Manager on Homelessness, City of Santa Monica
  • Tiffany Duvernay Smith, DVHSC Advocate
  • Lisa Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Downtown Women’s Center
  • Veronica Lewis, Director of the Homeless Outreach Program/Integrated Care System Division
  • Susan Burton, Executive Director and Author, A New Way of Life
  • Rose Wood, Advocate
  • Suzette Shaw, DVHSC Advocate
  • LaRae Cantley, DVSHC Advocate
  • Reiney Lin, Trainer and Community Organizer 
  • Erin Cox, Policy Manager, LAHSA

1.2 Partnering for Survivors to Create Systems Change

Room: California A & B

The session brings together National experts who will explore systems change efforts across the country to address homelessness and housing instability among survivors of domestic violence.  Presenters will share how they brought together various groups, or worked with already established collaborators, to implement a multisector approach that supports building relationships to improve the lives of survivors.  Moving from a service level to systems level approach takes collaboration, and a great deal of patience, as does putting policy into practice.  Additionally, other systemic efforts that intersect with housing survivors will be discussed.


  • Larisa Kofman,  Director of Systems and Policy Initiatives at the National Alliance for Safe Housing (NASH)
  • Lisa Fuji-Parks, Associate Director at Prevention Institute
  • Tanya Tucker, Chief of National Partnerships and Outreach, Full Frame Initiative
  • Alisha Rhoden, DVHSC Advocate

1.3 Safety Planning with Survivors of Domestic Violence 

Room: California C & D

The session presenters will provide an overview of safety planning with survivors of domestic violence. During the presentation the session facilitators will cover how to build rapport while conducting a safety plan. The presenters will also cover safety during violent incident, safety while preparing to leave, safety at home, safety with restraining order, safety while at work, emotional safety, technology safety, social media safety, and safety while living on the streets.


  • Yesenia Meneses, Housing Advocate, Rainbow Services
  • Lorilyn Luong, DV Rapid Rehousing Case Manager, Downtown Women’s Center
  • Araceli Patino, Director of Housing Programs, Rainbow Services
  • Susan Kolkowicz, DVHSC Advocate

1.4 Building Trauma and Resiliency Informed Communities

Room: Thousand Cranes

The session brings together national experts who will explore systems change efforts to build Trauma Informed & Resilient Communities.  Trauma Informed Care has received a lot of attention, though many organizations face challenges in truly understanding how to move towards a trauma informed culture.  Panelists will share their experiences from leading a trauma informed organizations, consulting with organizations as they embark on trauma-informed culture change, organizing a community to embrace the principles of trauma informed care through storytelling and healing-centered engagement, and research that assists in understanding trauma informed principles as part of a larger framework.


  • Elizabeth Eastlund, Executive Director, Rainbow Services
  • Nkem Ndefo, Founder and Executive Director, Lumos Transforms
  • Susan Hess, Trauma Informed Los Angeles
  • Shanti Kulharni, Professor of Social Work, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • Samuel Lazalde – Communities In Schools, Trauma Informed Los Angeles

Session 2 Workshops 3:00-4:30


2.1 The Intersection of Race and Gender for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Homelessness (see Session 1)

Room: Golden State Ballroom I & II

2.2 Aligning with the Coordinated Entry System to Best Serve Survivors

Room: California A & B

Join us to learn about the collaborative efforts that LAHSA, as well as other system partners, have implemented to align the homeless and domestic violence services throughout Los Angeles County. In this session, we will highlight current initiatives, as well as projects in development, such as provider learning communities, enhancements to system infrastructure, and opportunities for new programming evaluation, to ensure survivors have direct and safe access to resources within the Coordinated Entry System.


  • Cristina Cortes, Domestic Violence Coordinator for the Los Angeles Homeless Services (LAHSA)
  • Amy Goldman, Director of Legal Services at Community Legal Aid SoCal
  • Jessica Reed, Continuum of Care (CoC) Manager at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)
  • Kimberly Perkins,  DV Regional Coordinator for SPA 1
  • Susan Kolkowicz, DVHSC Advocate

2.3 Building a Full Continuum of Housing: Creating Safe Housing Options for Survivors

Room: California C & D

As Domestic Violence programs adopt new permanent housing models and Homeless Services begin to employ trauma-informed care, there are many more lessons to learn about what type of housing intervention meets the needs of survivors experiencing homelessness. Exciting new research demonstrates the promise of flexible funding and Rapid Re-housing models; however, little research exists regarding how Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) currently meets the needs of survivors and/or how it can be improved to meet their needs. Join this interactive session to hear about the success of the Housing First Domestic Violence model and help advise how PSH can meet the needs of survivors.


  • Kris Billhardt, Director of Program and Practice Innovations, National Alliance for Safe Housing
  • Amy Turk, Chief Innovation Officer, Downtown Women’s Center
  • Millie Brown, DVHSC Advocate
  • Linda Olsen, Housing Program Coordinator, Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

2.4 The Resilience Toolkit: Tools to Decrease Stress and Increase Resiliency

Room: Thousand Cranes

End your conference experience with an interactive lesson in The Resilience Toolkit, a suite of movement and mindfulness tools that help you develop an embodied understanding of your stress and relaxation cycles. These simple and quick practices build internal awareness and focus attention on positive aspects of your experience to settle your nervous system. The Resilience Toolkit was developed by Nkem Ndefo through many years of work as a traditional and complementary healthcare provider and advocate serving a wide range of people, communities, and organizations. She saw the need for affordable and accessible tools to effectively address the epidemic of toxic stress that is a root cause of so much suffering.

Facilitator: Nkem Ndefo, founder of Lumos Transforms and creator of The Resilience Toolkit