Center for Loss & Hope [2023]

Center for Loss & Hope

At the Center for Loss & Hope we know that the death of someone you love is one of life’s most difficult challenges. When grief comes to us—either while we’re anticipating the loss of a loved one, as they are dying, or after they’re gone—we can feel a lot of different emotions and physical sensations: pain, isolation, depression, confusion, anger, and resentment; stress, sleeplessness, tension, stomach problems, and so on. It can be hard and frightening to face our grief. But if we can find companions along the way, we can find our way toward hope again.

The staff at the Center for Loss & Hope are companions in grief. And in a virtual way, so is this website. Here you’ll not only have access to our staff, but you’ll also find a wide range of support programs for adults, teens, and children at no cost to the participant—that’s our commitment to the common good.

Our services are made possible by kind and generous donors who know the importance of finding hope again after loss. If you would like to give to make our services possible to others, please contact Louise Joyce, Director of Community Programs at

Support Programs

Our approach

Grief is the sadness and pain we feel when we lose something or someone important to us. It’s natural to feel this way, and it’s a part of being human. At YoloCares, we understand that everyone goes through a unique and personal journey of grief; no two people experience grief in the same way because it’s shaped by who you are, what you’ve been through, the love you’ve given and received, and what’s happening in your life right now.

So, at the Center for Loss & Hope, we won’t try to fit your grief experience into a standard mold or treat it as a sickness. Grief can’t be put in a box. And it’s not an illness like Covid or cancer. It’s a normal response to loss, even though it can be very painful and unwanted. You might worry that your grief is something that can’t be fixed; hearing that might feel scary.

It’s true that you might always feel some kind of sadness about the person who has died, especially if you loved them very much. But with support and understanding, that sadness will soften, and you will learn to live with your grief.
â–¶ Read more about our approach

The Center for Loss & Hope Leadership

Renee Avalos

Renee Avalos
Grief Specialist,
Spanish Language
Program Facilitator
and certified CareDoula®

Debra Chapman

Debra Chapman
Grief Group Coordinator

Chris Erdman

Chris Erdman
Director of Center for Loss & Hope
Joshua’s House

Elisa Stone

Elisa Stone
Grief Specialist and YoloCares for Kids Coordinator

Renee AvalosRenee brings multiple skills that help her curate compassionate environments where people feel respected, nourished, and accompanied as they face the challenges of loss. Born in San Francisco, Renee is among the first generation of her El Salvadoran family to live in the U.S. Fluent in Spanish, she holds a deep respect for and understanding of cultural values and traditions, and the way the “camino” of our shared lives offers the possibility finding hope through loss.
Debra ChapmanDebra is a certified death doula and grief companion who values what is sacred to the people and communities she is honored to serve. She has been serving life, death, and grief from an early age and has chosen to apply her lived experience in the service of others in her work. Trained in World Religions, Trauma-informed Care, Non-Violent Communication, and Compassionate Bereavement, she brings a wealth of knowledge to her position
Chris ErdmanChris serves as the Director of the Center of Loss & Hope and Joshua’s House—both expressions of YoloCares’ commitment to offer quintessential end-of-life care and support to anyone in the Sacramento region. Chris also leads the ethics committee of the California Hospice Network. He holds a doctorate in organizational and missional transformation from Columbia in Atlanta. Previously a pastor of three large congregations, a graduate school faculty member, and a missional consultant, he brings three decades of experience to his role of innovative and compassionate organizational leadership. Author of numerous books and articles, Chris also hosts the popular podcasts, Poems to Live By and From the Ground of Grief, both on Spotify. He enjoys cooking with family and friends, walks in the woods, dancing with his beloved, shorelines, old gnarled Juniper trees, dogs, yellow-rumped warblers, the scent of fresh lavender, and the wonders of his children, grand-dogs, and granddaughter.
Elisa StoneElisa brings decades of experience supporting and educating those facing life-limiting situations. Accomplished in developing and managing social programs and services, She focuses on the emotional life of individuals and families across the age spectrum. She guides our programs for kids, teens, and their families from her wealth of experience and expertise in childhood development.