Sebastian Martin, RAD-T
Sebastian has been working in drug and alcohol treatment for the past 5 years and has a passion for assisting people as they work through areas of life similar to the ones that he has struggled with. Sebastian has worked with New Life House in a variety of roles, and spent time both directing the houses and focusing on the alumni, as well as working with the clinical team at Clear Recovery Center.
A New Life House alumni, Sebastian is currently attending school, and is RAD-T certified. Sebastian takes pride in having the opportunity to help young men transform their lives while working with their families.
Director of Community Relations
Howard Barker handles all of the outreach and community engagement at New Life House. He works to spread education and awareness on issues surrounding mental health and substance abuse as well as help families navigate the difficult waters of getting a loved one help. Howard has spent the past 7 years working with young adults and their families, being a support during times of crisis.
A New Life House alumni, Howard went back to college and underwent CADC training in recovery. He has spoken on panels, in treatment centers, community centers, schools, with parents, students, teachers, law enforcement and mental health providers to give insight on issues that are impacting young people today. He works closely with the New Life House families and the management staff, helping to keep things innovative, add additional services for the guys, and deal with all of the logistics of running the New Life House programs.
Zach Arnell is one of the directors at New Life House. A New Life House alumni, Zach is passionate about helping people change their lives and is working towards his Masters in Psychology to continue working with helping others change their lives.
Zach is passionate about giving back to New Life House because it has given him a new perspective on life that he never knew was possible. He believes that if people adopt what this program offers they will be able to have a long happy life free from drugs and alcohol. Zach loves seeing families repair their relationship throughout the process and finds happiness being part of the guy’s recovery.
Max Miner manages New Life House LA. An alumni of the program Max is committed to helping individuals transform their lives and repair their relationships with their families. Max is extremely passionate about the work he does on a daily basis and looks forward to helping others attain the same freedom and confidence that he enjoys in his recovery today.
Robert manages New Life House West in the South Bay. He has been involved with the community since 2011 and uses his experience to help motivate and teach the guys in the house a new way of life in sobriety. Additionally, Robert oversees the housemember’s involvement with volunteer opportunities, legal matters, and coordinating unique and fun experiential experiences to show the guys that anything is possible in sobriety!
Jackson Farentinos manages New Life East. His passion lies with leading young men out of the darkness and into the light one day at a time. He prides himself on walking hand in hand with the guys and building a high level of trust to help them on their journey to recovery. It is important to him that the guys not only get sober, but excel in all areas of their life and find things they are passionate about. He is originally from the South Bay and has been involved in the community for over three years.
Dave Lewis has been associated with New Life House for almost 25 years. Through the years he has been a sponsor, teacher, confidant, manager, chef, carpenter and plumber. He has had many wonderful experiences through his time as a manager at New Life House.
When not at one of the South Bay houses, you can find Dave supporting the Stanley Cup Champions the Los Angeles Kings. If it’s football season he will be sitting at home watching the Cornhuskers. More often than not, he is often giving rides to meetings nearly every night.
New Life House has brought Dave a sense of gratitude and satisfaction from watching the guys who come into the house who are beaten and broken as a newcomer to transitioning to graduation and being told they have completed the program. Dave takes great pride and joy in being a small but hopefully successful part of the process.
Caleb Muench is the Overnight Manager for New Life House. Caleb has been with the company for over a year and is currently attending school in pursuit of a Bachelor’s degree for audio engineering. He is also the vocalist in a local punk rock band and performs live shows all around Los Angeles.
Caleb is a night owl and loves to be available for residents who may be struggling at odd hours of the night. He brings a unique perspective and his own personal experience to the table when assessing and addressing any issues, questions, or events that happen after hours.
Additional & Outside Services
Dr. Martha Koo
Psychiatrist and Medical Director of Clear Recovery Center
Dr. Martha B. Koo, M.D., a graduate of Princeton University and UCLA Medical School, is double Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine and has over 20 years of experience providing psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and pharmaceutical treatment for individuals and families.
Martha has worked with the guys of New Life House for many years, and is acutely aware of the specific issues that come along with young adult men. Dr. Koo provides substance abuse therapy and medication management for clients on a specialized, individual basis. She is an active member of the American Psychiatric Association, the New Center for Psychoanalysis, the Clinical TMS Society, The American Society of Addiction Medicine, the California Psychiatric Society and the Southern California Psychiatric Society.
Basel Shadfan, LMFT
Basel serves as one of the group facilitators at New Life House. He holds a Masters of Arts degree in counseling from Antioch University and is a licensed therapist as well as the Program Director at Clear Recovery Center. His firsthand experience and in-depth knowledge of recovery make him an invaluable resource for young men getting sober.
He has over seven years of experience working with both adolescents and young adults specifically struggling with substance abuse. His compassion, professionalism and personal drive make him an exemplary role model for the young men of New Life House. In his spare time Basel enjoys snowboarding, exercise, hiking and spending time at the beach.
Scott Dohren, CADC-II
Scott Dohren attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a focus in Business Administration. He also holds a CADC-II certification in addiction studies. Scott has a tremendous amount of experience with both administrative and interpersonal aspects of behavioral health. His background in the field of behavioral health extends to counseling, mentorship, and admissions.
Scott’s leadership and passion in the field of wellness allows him to bring a wealth of experience and insight into working with the young men of New Life House. In his free time, Scott enjoys maintaining a healthy exercise regimen, attending concerts, spending time in nature, and traveling with his wife Karen.
Irina Jodzio, LMFT
Family Group Facilitator
Irina Jodzio is the family group facilitator at New Life House. With her extensive experience and background working with young men and her years spent as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, she brings an incredible perspective and knowledge to helping clients transform their lives.
Alexander Salman, MBA, MPH
Director of Education
Alex Salman is the Director of Education for New Life House. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University.
As a former clinical researcher at the National Institutes of Health with a diverse professional background as a chef at Clear Recovery Center’s detox program as well as a business development and strategy specialist at a digital health start up, Alex has strong experience in a range of occupational fields. He has also served as a mentor, career development consultant, as well as an interviewing guide for his peers at Johns Hopkins University.
Alex is passionate about helping others reach their professional goals. He finds nothing more rewarding than meeting with New Life House residents, solving problems and overseeing their learning and professional development process.
Mike Joly is the Executive Director of New Life House and has spent the last 20 years devoted to helping individuals and their families heal and recover from substance abuse, addiction and mental health struggles.
Mike now spends his time educating and working with his staff in a behind the scenes role. He is passionate about providing his team with the tools and training to assist them in being the best they can possibly be. He is a prominent figure in the South Bay, and gives back through a variety of non-profit, education and community service organizations.
Amber Jones works to assist the administration team with a variety of tasks, and is passionate about helping to contribute to a team that allows young men to get sober and change their lives.
Emily Pedersen, MPH, M.S.Ed.
Emily Pedersen holds a Master’s degree in Education and a Master of Public Health degree with a certificate in health inequities from Johns Hopkins University.
As a former educator with a strong professional background in public health research, Emily has extensive experience partnering with communities to improve health and educational outcomes. She has served as a teacher, team-lead and professional curriculum developer for Baltimore City Public Schools as well as a senior research coordinator for the Johns Hopkins Department of Epidemiology and is passionate about connecting great providers in the behavioral health space.