After a year of planning and two months of renovation, Henderson House, the city's first shelter for the transitionally homeless, has reopened its doors.
About 20 people are expected to move into the renovated 45-bed shelter this week, said Mike Lennon, executive director for HomeAid, the nonprofit organization that oversaw the project.
The shelter helps homeless adults, especially those recovering from substance abuse or those who are mentally ill, make the transition from shelter life to independent living. It provides housing for up to a year for those who have completed a rehabilitation program at Friendship Shelter, a shelter in Laguna Beach.
"South County has really lacked overall for shelter programs. There's a real need there," Lennon said. His organization also helped with the renovation of Laura's House, a shelter for battered women.
"It really does say a lot for the city to have welcomed two shelters like those in the community," Lennon said. "It's new hope for new lives."
More than 40 companies, including home builder J.M. Peters Co., contributed to the $300,000 Henderson House renovation, which added 32 beds to the complex, Lennon said.