SAHARA (South Asian Helpline and Referral Agency)

Sheela Mehta, LCSW, recognized a need for a helpline during her social work and since 1991, has counseled more than 1,000 individuals. Domestic violence is a silent issue in South Asian culture and she wanted to provide a venue to heal and eradicate the problem. Here is a quick overview, but for more information definitely check out their website or the SAHARA brochure.


“To serve the growing community of South Asians in Southern California by providing them with information, referrals, skills development and other culturally sensitive support services to meet the unique challenges they face and also to deal with the personal crises of survivors of domestic violence.”

  • Toll-free 24-hour helpline
  • Comprehensive case management
  • Mental health counseling
  • Legal advocacy
  • Medical benefits enrollment (with five Certified Enrollment Counselors on staff who speak Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Urdu, Arabic and English)
  • Micro-enterprise training
  • Geriatric psychosocial therapy
  • Computer education
  • Transitional housing at SAWIN (South Asian Women in Need) which provides shelter/transitional living home to domestic violence victims and their children for 12 to 18 months
  • Expand to San Fernando Valley and Orange County
  • Partner with local organizations
  • Continue creating healthy South Asian community, including the older adult population
  • Fund core programs/services for domestic violence survivors
How can you help?

You can work at the vintage boutique in Artesia which gives people a change to develop marketing skills, raise funds, create awareness and assist at events. SAHARA currently has a part-time Mental Health internship opportunity at their main office in Artesia, CA.

Contributed by:
Sheela Mehta, LCSW