SANTA ANA — Michael Lennon, public affairs director for the Orange County chapter of the Building Industry Assn. since 1987, has been selected executive director of the BIA of Southern California's regional HomeAid program.
HomeAid is a nonprofit project in which businesses involved in the real estate development industry donate material, labor and cash to build and renovate shelters for the homeless.
Lennon, 45, will remain executive director of the Orange County BIA chapter's 2 1/2-year-old HomeAid-Orange County program, which was the first in the nation and served as the model for the Southern California program. He will give up his duties as BIA's public affairs director in Orange County.
Since its inception, the Orange County HomeAid program has been supported by more than 1,100 businesses, which have pumped nearly $2 million into eight homeless-shelter projects in the county.
Lennon replaces Judith Lenthall as executive director of HomeAid-Southern California. Lenthall resigned to start a consulting business. A former city planner in San Diego, she was hired by the BIA 18 months ago to help establish the regional HomeAid program.
HomeAid typically targets shelters for the transitionally homeless--defined as people who need 30 to 180 days in a comprehensive care program, such as a shelter for battered women or runaway teens, to help regain emotional and financial stability.
But among the programs Lenthall helped develop is HomeAid's first permanent homeless shelter, the Sammy Davis Jr. Home in Los Angeles. The single-room-occupancy residential hotel, which will provide low-cost housing for up to 47 people, is expected to be open late next year. As its name implies, a single-room-occupancy hotel provides furnished single rooms for the homeless that can be rented on a short- or long-term basis.
In addition to the Sammy Davis Jr. facility, HomeAid-Southern California is involved in shelter projects in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.