Executive Leadership Team
Laura Valdéz was born and grew up in El Paso, Texas on the U.S./Mexico border. Her social justice framework is rooted in the struggles she witnessed growing up as a daughter of Mexican immigrants and queer Xicana.
Laura brings over 20 years of leadership experience in nonprofit administration, public health, public policy, and grassroots organizing. As a human rights activist, she has led several social justice organizations including organizations working for immigrant and LGBTQ rights. As a National Urban Fellow, she earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Bernard M. Baruch College, School of Public Affairs in New York City and is a LeaderSpring Fellow alumni.
Laura believes that long-term social change in this country requires sustained commitment and leadership from those most closely impacted by pervasive inequity and injustice and is looking forward to grounding this work at Dolores Street.
Saúl Hidalgo L.
Saúl has over 25 years of nonprofit experience – most of which has taken place in the Mission. His previous experience includes being a nonprofit consultant, executive manager, therapist, program developer, and university lecturer. He previously served as the agency’s Director of Housing & Shelter Programs.
Director Of Human Resources
Nolia Yulan Lai
Nolia Yulan Lai has over 15 years of human resources management experience. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration. She has worked in the non-profit, business, education, and health sectors in both union and non-union environments. She has extensive experience in employee relations and engagement, benefits and compensation, staff development and performance management, staff recruitment and retention, and has considerable knowledge of labor and employment law. She has demonstrated experience of her proficiency in strategic and policy-making aspects of HR as she is certified as both a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), as well as a Senior Certified Professional by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-SCP). As an immigrant from China, she values our organization’s mission and the many services and programming we offer the immigrant community and is excited to be grounding her work at Dolores Street.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
Maribel Gonzalez Ruiz
Maribel is a seasoned executive with over 15 years of progressive senior management experience in planning, budgeting, forecasting, and leadership roles. With a strong emphasis on data-driven decision-making, she possesses advanced analytical and problem-solving skills. Maribel is known for her resourcefulness, flexibility, and exceptional ability to build and lead teams effectively. She excels both in collaborative environments and when working independently, demonstrating her self-starter mindset. Maribel’s leadership style is characterized by her proficiency in influence management, engagement, and collaboration, making her an effective leader who drives impactful results.
Director of Development and Government Contracts
Kara is a fundraising professional with over twenty years of leadership experience in the non-profit sector. While Kara’s roots in San Francisco reach back to the 19th century when her great-grandfather founded a bakery in North Beach, she grew up moving frequently due to her father’s job, both within and outside of the United States. Her parents instilled in her and her sister a deep commitment to fight against injustice in all its forms and to uphold the beauty and dignity of humanity. She comes from a long line of teachers and labor organizers and, prior to working in fundraising, taught English composition. She has lived in the East Bay for over a decade with her two daughters, her mother, two cats, and a very sweet but ill-behaved dog. On weekends, you can find her leading Girl Scout activities, volunteering in her community, or writing short fiction.
Director Of Strategic Projects
Jazzman Parks Cardona
As a Brooklyn-native, Jazzman comes to DSCS with a diverse background in education, finance, and operations. Constantly battling with generational poverty, Jazzman has become passionate about building passive income endeavors, leadership development and legacy building. Truly a teacher at heart, she has coached individuals of all ages on the importance of financial literacy. In her role at DSCS, Jazzman hopes to advocate for a growth mindset within Dolores. In the words of Roger Crawford, “Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.” With each developing project, we take small steps to unite the DSCS staff and effectively advocate for the Mission District community, despite homelessness, food insecurity and immigration challenges.
Yesenia has been involved in the non-profit sector from an early age. She was a participant in the Mission Area Federal Credit Union- Youth Credit Union Program which empowered low-income youth to be financially independent and responsible with an emphasis on higher education. She was a board member for YLI for 2 years, a program that provided grants to youth created projects, and was also a Senior Youth Advocate for Mission Dignity, where her mission was to empower youth in the Mission to finish their high school diploma and continue into higher education or vocational training. She was a shelter case manager with Dolores Street for 2 years and transitioned to the Program Manager role in the winter of 2015. She continues to grow and plans to continue advocating for the neighborhood she was born and raised in.
Donor Engagement Manager
Jackeline, a Bay Area native, brings a varied service industry background to DSCS, driven by her upbringing as a daughter of Mexican immigrants. As the Donor Engagement Coordinator, she dedicates herself to building relationships for the agency’s mission of empowering low-income and immigrant communities.
Outside work, Jackeline enjoys exploring new destinations and embraces CrossFit for well-being. Her goal is to seamlessly integrate personal and professional journeys, actively contributing to positive community change.
For inquiries or meaningful conversations, reach out to Jackeline at email@example.com. She welcomes connections with those passionate about community impact.
Donna Guadalupe Cruz
Donna Cruz is a daughter of former Mexican immigrants and a daughter of a single mom. Donna's mother worked 3 jobs to take care of her children, one of the jobs she still works as is a domestic worker. Donna's passion for social justice comes from her lived experiences and her professional experience as well. Donna was a former intern for Assembly Member, Matt Haney and has a Master level education in Human Sexuality. These experiences and education inspired Donna to want to make a change on a social and structural level where all people are empowered. In her free time, Donna enjoys spending time with her kitten and also reading theoretical and social justice books. Donna is a proud employee of DSCS because staff reflect their commitment to the community and for social justice for all.
Assistant Director of Operations
Arturo Arevalos, a native of San Francisco's Bernal Heights, draws deep inspiration from his personal journey and love for the city. Despite facing challenges, including a period of incarceration, Arturo emerged as the first in his family to earn a high school diploma and he transformed into a devoted husband and father, advocate for the underprivileged, and a positive force in his community. Motivated by the impactful lessons and support he received from the people of San Francisco, Arturo joined Dolores Street Community Services (DSCS) five years ago. Starting as a monitor at DSP, he steadily advanced to become a shift supervisor and contributed to the opening of BVHM. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Arturo played a crucial role in enhancing responses to protect the city's homeless communities, particularly at Safe Sleeping Village Everett and site 25. His commitment to service led him to Safe Sleeping Village site V04, where he served as Site Coordinator and eventually became Program Manager. Notably, Arturo takes pride in his contribution to ensuring safety for over 1,000 Covid-19 vulnerable homeless individuals during the pandemic. Amidst these accomplishments, he continues to enjoy personal passions such as playing softball, celebrating life with family and friends, and passionately supporting the Raiders.
Housing & Shelter Programs
Director of Housing and Shelter Programs
Manny has over 12 years of experience in Operations, mostly in private corporations. Manny holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a Masters in Logistics Management. He has a solid background in project management, systems, and processes operations. Manuel has developed a solid career in the operations field, working with large corporations such as Tesla and Amazon to name a couple. As an immigrant from Venezuela and understanding all the struggles our communities go through, Manny decided to jump out of corporate and practice something more meaningful for our society with the hope of bringing more smiles to those that need it the most.
Richard M. Cohen Residence Senior Manager
Enrique Roldan was promoted as Program Director of Cohen Residence in 2020. Enrique worked for 5 years as the Dolores Shelter Program Manager and additionally served, for almost 5 years, as the Casa Quezada Program Manager. Enrique is a proud San Francisco native, born and raised in the Mission District. He is passionate about the work DSCS does and believes in making a difference both on the individual level and as part of larger whole. Enrique takes pride in being able to give back to a community that helped him develop into the person he is today. He demonstrates an elevated level of customer service by interacting with tenants in a respectful manner that allows him to build relationships and and embraces his connections with staff, leading to an environment that helps the program thrive with positivity.
Casa Esperanza Program Manager
Jaime is a San Francisco Native raised in the Mission District by a single immigrant mother. He attended and graduated from John O’Connell High School. Since then, he started working in the non-profit field supporting people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco. He has grown a passion for this work as he loves to help people and it has provided him with many opportunities for growth in his own professional life.
Associate Manager of Housing & Shelter Programs
Simon is originally from Los Angeles specifically from the beautiful San Fernando Valley.
For many years, he has been working with the Latin X community in the Tenderloin. Through his work, he heard so much talk about all the help and support DSCS has offered to the community, especially with the Day laborers Project and decided to join our team as the Associate Manager of Shelter and Housing. On his off days, Simon loves working on his classic 59 Chevy and collecting records. His goals are to leave a lasting impact in my community and those he services.
Casa Quezada Program Manager
Leslie is an innovative and visionary leader, with more than 8 years of diverse experience working in the non-profit and government sectors administering housing programs for low-income San Francisco residents who are homeless / at-risk homelessness and individuals with special needs. Her focus is delivering strong professional inclusive practices, advocating in the Latinx communities that are often underrepresented in housing and promoting awareness for homelessness assistance programs. Leslie studied at University of San Francisco, with a degree in Business Administrations, she has dedicated her life to helping others and by partnering with allies across the housing industry to ensure all identities feel included. Leslie was born in a small town in Texas but spent most of her life in San Francisco, California. She’s proud of her Mexican heritage. The humble work of her beloved brother Roger Valdez, formerly Casa Quezada employee and of Eric Quezada, formerly executive director of DSCS, a great leader on housing and economic justice and immigrants’ rights, drives Leslie’s passion and commitment for nurturing and fostering the next generation of leaders.
Dolores Shelter Program Sr. Manager
Stephanie Senna, with a childhood marked by homelessness and challenges, developed a deep commitment to helping those in need. Her personal experiences have shaped her into a compassionate advocate for the less fortunate. Under the guidance of Dolores, Stephanie seizes the opportunity to provide others with the support she lacked as a child. Her overarching goal is to ensure that every individual in the Dolores Shelter Program finds a secure space for essential needs such as food, shelter, and hygiene. Stephanie is dedicated to fostering an environment where those in need feel a sense of community and realize they are not alone. As she works towards these objectives, her aspiration is that everyone leaving the program does so with a positive and safe outlook on their future.
Program Manager of Mission Inn
[Bio coming soon!]
Stay Over Program Program Manager
Jorge Rivera has more than 30 years of Community Services experience in the Mission District. Most recently worked at Catholic Charities for over 18 years in Eviction and Homelessness Prevention, Rental Assistance and Problem Solving and Information and referral. Previously, Jorge worked at Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice as Jail Services Coordinator, his role involved training, and supervising case managers. Also, he served for 10 years as a board member of Central American Resource Center CARECEN, being the president of the board the last 3 years of his tenure. Lastly, Jorge has helped created Red Nacional Salvadoreña en Exterior, RENASE with chapters in East & West Coast. His work at the SOP is crucial for providing trauma-informed care and case management for families experiencing housing insecurity in the Mission.
Community Services Director
Jacqui Portillo has over 20 years of experience in the social service sector and family support movement. Most recently she worked for East Bay Agency for Children (EBAC) where she started and operated Oakland Unified School District’s Central Family Resource Center. She was involved in EBAC’s Trauma Transformed Program and brings a wealth of knowledge and wisdom about strategies to deliver trauma informed services and creating healing spaces for our community. She lived in the Mission District 15 years ago and is remarkably familiar with nonprofit organizations in the Mission. Jacqui was the Founder and Coordinator of Casa Corazon at Instituto Familiar de La Raza. She has a deep commitment to immigrant families and social justice work.
Access Point Senior Program Manager
Alejandro Nuno was born in Guadalajara Jalisco, México. His parents brought him to live in the US when he was 10 years old. He grew up in Santa Monica, CA and has been residing in San Francisco since 2001. He attended the University of San Francisco and received a BA in Psychology as well as two minor degrees in Latin American Studies and Media Studies. He also completed a Master’s degree and Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology with a Multi-Cultural Emphasis at Alliant International University in San Francisco. Early on in life, he knew that his calling was to support those in need. Now at Dolores Street Community Services, he can serve and support those that experience similar challenges and have similar needs as his family did in the past. This personal experience along with his professional and educational experience is giving him the opportunity to change the lives of those that come to our organization.
Nuestro Bienestar Program Manager
Cindia Diaz is a Program Manager for the Nuestro Bienestar Community Wellness Program. She works with a team of Health Promotors to provide wrap around services and resources related to Diabetes Management, COVID-19, and other health and recovery needs for the Latino/a/x population in San Francisco. Cindia spent several years volunteering at Clínica Martín-Baró, a clinic run by students, where her commitment for civic engagement and public health evolved. She also has a broad range of experience in managed health coverage care, community-based organizations, and non-profits. She has supported projects and programs in Tijuana and Oaxaca, Mexico, demonstrating her commitment to collective action. She is from the Mixteca people from what is presently called Oaxaca, Mexico.
Community Engagement & Organizing
Director of Community Engagement and Organizing
Sanika Mahajan grew up primarily in the South Bay as the daughter of South Asian immigrants. Her commitment to centering social justice for marginalized groups is grounded in her experience as a survivor of sexual and gender-based violence, which led her to community organizing and restorative justice as a grounding framework. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies from Harvard College with a minor in Global Health and is also a certified Restorative Justice practitioner.
Sanika has five years of experience in nonprofit spaces, organizing, and political education. She has led coalition-based campaigns for national policy change in Title IX and participated in local racial justice movements and mutual aid food programs in the South Bay. She is committed to finding transformative joy in community-building in her role at Dolores Street.
Cooperative Developer Manager
Sayde Leos Diaz
Sayde Leos is an accomplished Lawyer in Mexico and Paralegal in the US, with 6 years of law experience in both countries. She enjoys using her skills to contribute to the community she works with. Currently, Sayde is the Program Manager for DSCS’s new Worker Cooperative.
HOUSING RIGHTS SENIOR MANAGER
Born and raised in the Mission, Melissa sees the Mission district as a huge part of her identity. When she found DSCS was hiring, she knew it was the right fit for because of the work they do around San Francisco and she wanted to be a part of that, not just a bystander.
When Melissa is not working, she likes to hike and visit farmers markets around the Bay Area. She also enjoy painting even though she believes she is terrible at it. Her goals are to educate and instill advocacy into those around who were made to believe they did not have a voice.
SFILEN Program Manager
Finn Palamaro (they/them) is a community organizer with years of experience working in Los Angeles, Arizona and San Francisco with a focus in building collective power across different immigrant and low-income communities. Currently they are the program manager for the San Francisco Immigrant Legal and Education Network, a unique collaboration of 12 legal and service organizations dedicated to aiding and empowering the immigrant community in San Francisco.
Director of Deportation Defense & Legal Advocacy Program
Sean was raised in an immigrant family in Richmond, California. He comes to DSCS with 14 years of experience in nonprofit organizations, with nearly a decade of that as an immigration attorney. His work has focused on removal defense, federal immigration litigation, detention issues, and the intersection of law and organizing. Prior to DSCS, Sean represented both detained and non-detained immigrants in removal proceedings and federal litigation at Pangea Legal Services. His work at Pangea included habeas litigation for detained immigrants, appellate matters at the circuit level, and amicus and impact litigation work such as Pangea v. Dep’t of Homeland Security I and II, the lawsuits that blocked the Trump Administration’s changes to asylum regulations.
Previously, Sean worked at the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center (now TakeRoot Justice) in New York, where he provided legal support for the organizing work of workers’ centers and grassroots community organizations. He represented individual members of these organizations on a broad spectrum of humanitarian immigration matters, provided technical assistance for organizing campaigns, and helped to advocate for policies supporting immigrants’ rights in the New York area. Sean was also in the first class of Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC) legal fellows, from 2014 to 2016. He earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from U.C. Berkeley, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. As Legal Program Director of DDLAP, Sean hopes to continue to help build power in working-class and immigrant communities.
Associate Managing Attorney
Lizzie, a dedicated legal advocate, has been an integral part of DSCS since 2018, where she has held various roles including Staff Attorney and Supervising Attorney before assuming her current position. Her work is centered around providing vital legal representation to individuals facing deportation, a mission she…
Lizzie, a dedicated legal advocate, has been an integral part of DSCS since 2018, where she has held various roles including Staff Attorney and Supervising Attorney before assuming her current position. Her work is centered around providing vital legal representation to individuals facing deportation, a mission she approaches with unwavering commitment and compassion. Prior to joining DSCS, Lizzie honed her expertise at The Door, a nonprofit organization, where she served as an immigration attorney. There, she specialized in representing young people seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status in both New York Family and Immigration Courts.
Lizzie is a proud graduate of NYU School of Law, where she actively engaged as a student advocate with the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, further deepening her commitment to immigration justice. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Lizzie’s linguistic skills have been instrumental in serving diverse communities.
Licensed to practice law in New York, Lizzie brings her expertise to immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals nationwide. Her tireless dedication to defending the rights of immigrants reflects her profound belief in justice and human dignity.
Worker Center Program Manager
David Valencia, originally from El Salvador, has dedicated his life to advocating for immigrant rights and community empowerment. He began his activism by organizing with day laborers and students in his hometown. Inspired by his own immigrant experience, David now works with the Woman’s Collective and Day Labor Program in the Bay Area, fighting for the rights and dignity of immigrant workers.
Outside of his work, David enjoys spending quality time with friends and family. He is also passionate about energy healing and aspires to continue his journey as a Reiki practitioner. David’s commitment to social justice and holistic well-being shines through in all aspects of his life.
Housing and shelter placements provided for adults, youth, and families
Deportations prevented for pre-documented immigrants
Living wage jobs secured for low wage workers
Work with Us
Interested in joining our team?
Check out our open positions here.