CSH is pleased to announce the addition of four outstanding individuals to our dynamic board of directors:
- Don Falk, President of the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation
- Dorothy Edwards, Los Angeles Community Advocate
- Michelle Norris, President, National Church Residences Development Corporation and
- Dr. Jim O’Connell, President, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
As Executive Director of Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC), Don leads a community-based, non-profit housing development, management and social services agency in San Francisco with 300 employees and 30 properties containing over 2500 homes. Of the nearly 3500 people TNDC houses, 25% came to the organization out of homelessness. From 1982-1994, Mr. Falk held a variety of positions with Jubilee West, a neighborhood based nonprofit that provides services and housing in West Oakland. Mr. Falk earned a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA with honors in Economics and Urban Studies from Oberlin College. He chairs the Community Leadership Council and serves on the Board of Directors of Enterprise Community Partners, and serves on advisory boards of NeighborWorks America, St. Francis Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. He is the past president of the Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California, on whose board he served for seven years. TNDC is a CSH Social Innovation Fund grantee.
Dorothy is formerly homeless and is currently part of our Los Angeles supportive housing advocate program in which she speaks to elected officials both locally and at the state level about the impact of supportive housing. The following paragraphs are from a USA Today article highlighting mental illness in America:
Dorothy Edwards knows the despair and paranoia that cripple the mentally ill from seeking help and finding an apartment. For eight years, Edwards, 56, wandered the streets of Pasadena, Calif., sleeping in alleys, scouring Dumpsters for scraps of food and smoking meth to fend off a crushing depression. Her teeth were rotting, and sores broke out all her over body. She was sexually assaulted repeatedly and had her belongings stolen multiple times.
When things got truly bleak, Edwards would check herself into the psych ward of a hospital, only to be back on the streets within days. Various friends ravaged emotionally by the homeless life had flung themselves off the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena, known locally as “suicide bridge.” She considered using the bridge herself, she says.
“It was looking pretty good to me,” Edwards says. “I had run out of options.”
Shortly after, she was approached by a worker from Housing Works, a Los Angeles homeless outreach center. The worker escorted Edwards to a processing center, where counselors diagnosed her with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, found her an apartment and assigned her a caseworker.
Today, Edwards lives in a one-bedroom apartment in Pasadena with her 8-year-old mixed-breed dog, Gunner. The paranoia and anxiety still creep in periodically, especially late at night, but the medications and a watchful caseworker help her through it.
Michelle joined National Church Residences in 1993 as Director of Corporate Financial Services. She later became Chief Operating Officer of Housing Management, overseeing the management operations of National Church Residences’ affordable housing portfolio. She was promoted to Chief Development Officer, overseeing the team that specializes in development of all new National Church Residences products. This includes HUD 202 construction, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit new construction, acquisitions and substantial rehabs. In 2012, she was promoted again to Senior Vice President of Development and Public Policy. She was named President of National Church Residences Development Corporation in 2014. In her current role, Michelle is responsible for the growth of National Church Residences’ affordable housing portfolio. This includes continued development of new construction and preservation using the low-income housing tax credit program. In addition, she oversees the creation the organization’s “Affordable Housing Investment Fund” as well as disbursements from the fund to acquire other affordable housing communities. She also oversees the public policy efforts on behalf of the organization. Michelle holds a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Ohio. She currently serves on the boards of National Affordable Housing Trust (NAHT) and Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF). Michelle also serves as president of the Ohio Housing Council (OHC) and is a past president of the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA). In addition to her work in affordable housing, Michelle enjoys long distance running, backpacking and other outdoor activities. She is an active member of the Vineyard Columbus Church.
Dr. Jim O’Connell
Jim graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1970 and received his Master’s degree in theology from Cambridge University in 1972. After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1982, he completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 1985, Jim began fulltime clinical work with homeless individuals as the founding physician of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, which now serves over 12,000 homeless persons each year in two hospital-based clinics (Boston Medical Center and MGH) and in more than 70 shelters and outreach sites in Boston. With his colleagues, Jim established the nation’s first medical respite program for homeless persons in September 1985 with 25 beds in the Lemuel Shattuck Shelter. This innovative program now provides acute and sub-acute, pre- and post-operative, and palliative and end-of-life care in BHCHP’s free-standing 104-bed Barbara McInnis House. Working with the MGH Laboratory of Computer Science, Jim designed and implemented the nation’s first computerized medical record for a homeless program in 1995. From 1989 until 1996, Jim served as the National Program Director of the Homeless Families Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Jim is the editor of The Health Care of Homeless Persons: A Manual of Communicable Diseases in Shelters and on the Streets. His articles have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Circulation, the American Journal of Public Health, the Journal of Clinical Ethics, and several other medical journals. Jim has been featured on ABC’s Nightline and in a feature-length documentary entitled “Give Me a Shot of Anything.” He has received numerous awards, including the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award in 2012 and The Trustees’ Medal at the bicentennial celebration of Massachusetts General Hospital in 2011. Jim is president of BHCHP and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.