Longtime advocate for the homeless and East Village resident Louis Mena passed last Friday, October 21, due to health complications that had been occurring over the course the past few years.

Serving as President of the Long Beach Coalition for the Homeless, Mena largely led the organization in everything from lobbying for the opening of the City’s drop-in homeless assistance center, The Multi-Service Center, to participating in design of the City’s 10-year Plan to End Homelessness and Housing Element of the General Plan.

As Regional Coordinator for School on Wheels, he tirelessly led efforts to improve the education of our homeless youth,

“Louis Mena was always there when you needed him,” said close friend Darren Held. “I met him volunteering for an event in 2001 and he was one the most loyal people I’ve ever known… He could force me into fun like no one, have me laughing and grateful for how much of life there was to enjoy. Even when his health [became complicated], he was so joyful and happy to be alive.”

To listen to an interview he held with Dr. Ni Williams, a professor with her PhD in English who has also experienced homeless, back in 2015, click here and skip to the 11:00 minute mark.