Safe House


Steven ShoptawSteven Shoptaw. Ph.D.
Executive Director

Dr. Shoptaw is a clinical psychologist with Friends Research Institute and the UCLA Integrated Substance Program with 10 years of experience working with and researching a variety of groups with substance abuse problems. His special interest involves studying interventions (behavioral, medical and social) that reduce disruptive behaviors associated with substance abuse. Dr. Shoptaw is an active member of the local group of investigators working with harm reduction as an intervention approach for those with co-morbid conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, mental illness and substance dependence. He has many publications that document his work with substance abusers and persons living with HIV/AIDS and provides leadership to local and national boards that have the purpose of intervening with individuals with HIV/AIDS who abuse substances.

Meredith PortnoffMeredith Portnoff
Project Director

Ms. Portnoff has worked on a local and national level to train substance abuse treatment professionals in intervention strategies particular to people living with HIV/AIDS who have co-occurring chemical dependency. She has an extensive history as a community activist and serves in leadership roles for local task forces (LA County HIV, Drug and Alcohol Task Force) concerned with the unique needs of drug abusers living with or at risk for HIV. A certified HIV testing counselor who recognizes the cyclical nature of serious mental illness and chemical dependency, Ms. Portnoff is expert at implementing high tolerance strategies when providing housing to multi-diagnosed individuals. Ms. Portnoff has made several presentations at national and international conferences on topics of housing the multi-diagnosed. She developed the Safe House site and works effectively with the Los Angeles Housing Department staff in making this a successful demonstration program.