Staff Bios

May 2015 download 002Josh Butler, Executive Director

Josh migrated to Long Beach in 1992, where he began attending California State University Long Beach, and majored in Political Science. Josh grew up playing soccer, and served as coach for Long Beach Youth Soccer Organization while a student at CSULB. While at CSULB, Josh served as President of the campus chapter of Model United Nations.

Josh went to work here in Long Beach at Disabled Resources Center. There he served as Community Educator where he advocated and organized the disabilities community into action on many issues. One such issue was affordable housing. Josh saw first-hand the devastating impact the lack of affordable housing was having on people with disabilities. That caused the organization to become active and involved in advocating for affordable housing and Josh’s eventual role as Campaign Manager for the group known as the Long Beach Housing Trust Fund Coalition. That campaign was successful, as the City of Long Beach established a Housing Trust Fund in 2006.

After leaving Disabled Resources Center, Josh joined the staff of Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske where he served as Chief of Staff. As Chief of Staff, Josh gained an inside view of the municipal structure and the multiple goals and competing interests that City Council Members worked to address. Working under Gerrie Schipske provided Josh an opportunity to continue working in the Long Beach community.

Most recently, Josh was Director of Community Engagement at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles.

BrendaBrenda Caloca, Community Organizer

Brenda Caloca is a native of Long Beach born to immigrant parents (now citizens). As a Long Beach native, she has lived in may different places around the city. Brenda is a graduate of Millikan High School and was a very active youth leader at St. Athanasius Church. After high school she relocated to Reno, Nevada and began her work with the State of Nevada working with the Sierra Regional Center where she served as support for those mental disabilities.

In 2007 Brenda came back home to Long Beach where she joined the staff of Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell. Wearing many hats in this office, she enjoined working closely with the diverse community that made up the Fourth Council District, where she served for seven years. Brenda’s involvement with the community continued as she then accepted the position as a Project Coordinator with Southwest Voter Registration Education Program, organizing Latinos in North Long Beach to register to vote.

Brenda continues to have a vested interest in the community of Long Beach and she is passionate about empowering her community. She currently serves as Board President for Latinos in Action and Chair of the Long Beach Police Chief’s Latino Advisory Group. She is ecstatic and thrilled for the opportunity to be part of Housing Long Beach.

1622017_4020545729679_2118991112_n (1)Maria Lopez, Community Organizer

As the first generation college entrant in her family, Maria continues to break barriers as a senior at CSULB majoring in Chicano Latino Studies with a minor in Global Migration. Beforehand, Maria studied at LBCC where she played college soccer while serving as the Associated Student Body, President. In 2013, she received her AA in Social Sciences and a certificate of accomplishment in Administrative Assistance: Microsoft Office. While at LBCC & CSULB, Maria coached for Atletico Long Beach Soccer Club. Leading two teams of young Latinas ages 8-15.

At the same time, Maria had the desire to become a coach that changed lives. Therefore she not only trained these girls to become good soccer players, but also mentored them through her education program. Upon creating GIRLLS (Gaining Intellectual Resources for Life Long Success) Maria thought of all the important things she had missed while growing up. Centering the program on issues that affected the Latina population. The curriculum included- educational planning, how to build healthy relationship & dating violence prevention, how to build a healthy body image, developing leadership skills, and caring for the environment through a presentation on environmental issues.

Maria’s passion for Social Justice stems from her own struggles with her status, the challenges it brings to her family and overall how it affects her community. Maria hopes to continue her work in community and empower others to do the same always having in mind that “leaders create leaders, not followers.