ILRCSF’s approach to service delivery reflects the Independent Living (IL) philosophy. Implicit in our consumer driven services is an expectation of consumer ability. Our staff, 90% of whom are people with disabilities, operate under the premise that persons with disabilities are experts on their own needs, and must therefore take the lead in collaborating with staff to identify needs, options and the strategies necessary to achieve the most beneficial outcome.
Bridgett Brown, Eligibility Specialist
I help consumers learn about their options with regards to Disability, whether they are considering getting on or off benefits, going back to work, or going back to school. I try to give consumers as much information as possible so that they will be more likely to make decisions that are right for them. I also help people procure funds for back rent and security deposits.
In addition, I sit on an executive board for Westside Mental Health, and I am a long-time mental health advocate.
Alicia Contreras, Assistive Technology Educator
I do my best to help my consumers to find solutions that work for them, especially with regard to assistive technology (AT). I educate consumers about AT options, and I provide them with information on how they might be able to acquire new or used AT products. I also offer AT workshops to small and large groups. As an Options Counselor, I work with consumers to develop a simple action plan that will serve as a good starting point on their path towards independent living.
Joe Fong, Finance Director
Erica Li, Clerical Assistant/Receptionist
Jessie Lorenz, Executive Director
I spend most of my time engaged in fund-raising, as well as exploring possible collaborations that enhance the mission of the agency. I am also actively involved with finance, programming, and facility management. I am a gubernatorial appointee of the State Independent Living Counsel by both Former Governor Schwarzenegger and Governor Brown, and I am a member of the San Francisco Long Term Care Coordinating .
I have been in the not-for-profit sector for over 20 years. At ILRCSF, my areas of expertise are grant-writing, program development, facilitation, social media, resource development, and event organizing.
Michelle Puckett, Office Manager
I take care of the administrative end of things, such as ordering office supplies, updating our publications, and editing our newsletter. I coordinate both staff and public meetings. I also support our executive director, Jessie Lorenz, so that she can do her job as independently as possible.
Maria de Lourdes Richardson, Latino Community Services Coordinator
My work often involves helping Spanish-speaking consumers navigate the various service delivery systems in San Francisco so that they are better able to obtain affordable housing, transportation, and benefits. I try to reduce isolation among consumers with disabilities by encouraging them to get involved in their communities. I really take the time to sit with consumers, find out what they need, and help them come to solutions that work for them. I am also a HICAP counselor, certified by the state of California, and I counsel consumers on Medicare benefits.
Victoria Tedder, Housing Coordinator
I provide counseling and advocacy so that consumers can find accessible housing in San Francisco. In addition, if a consumer wishes to stay in his or her current residence but is experiencing difficulties that are preventing him or her from doing so, I work with him or her to maintain tenancy. I educate consumers about housing laws, as well as their rights and responsibilities as tenants. I keep abreast of local, state, and national issues related to low-income housing and housing rights, and I am actively working to bring about policies that will increase access to low-income housing for people with disabilities
Willia Tong, Chinese Community Services Coordinator
I work with the Chinese community and people from other Asian countries who speak Cantonese, Mandarin, or English. I provide information, education, referral, and advocacy to my consumers regarding benefits and government services, such as San Francisco Paratransit. I come to the Chinese Newcomer Center every Tuesday morning, where I meet with consumers on a drop-in basis. I also provide workshops to seniors and people with disabilities in the community, as well as non-profit agencies.
Derek Zarda, Systems Change Advocate
As part of my job at ILRCSF, I track important local, state and federal issues that affect the disability community. I also manage our emergency disaster preparedness material and attend committees regularly on improving emergency preparedness for people with disabilities. A favorite part of my job is also being in charge of youth programming and outreach, which includes facilitating youth group meetings and doing presentations at local schools on independent living and advocacy.