SCCHA’s Board consists of seven commissioners, five commissioners plus two tenants of the housing authority, one being a senior citizen. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors appoints SCCHA commissioners for four-year terms, with the exception of the tenant commissioners, who are appointed for two-year terms. Here is SCCHA's current roster of commissioners:
Throughout her 20-year career, Jennifer Loving has spearheaded efforts to better serve the needs of homeless individuals and families in Silicon Valley. As Executive Director of the public-private partnership Destination:Home since 2010, she has brought together public officials, government agencies, private sector leaders and nonprofit executives to collectively leverage more than $50 million in permanent housing and resources to end chronic homelessness in Santa Clara County. Chair Loving helped develop the County’s first “Housing First” program for homeless families. She oversaw the development and implementation of the 2015 Community Plan to End Homelessness as well as Home Not Found, the most comprehensive cost-of-homelessness study completed in the United States. In 2016, Chair Loving facilitated the release of The Silicon Valley Triage Tool, an open-source, predictive forecasting tool for supportive housing. Prior to joining Destination:Home, Chair Loving was Chief Executive Officer of EHC LifeBuilders (now HomeFirst). She is a Senior Fellow with American Leadership Forum and a Board Member of Silicon Valley @ Home. In 2017, Chair Loving was appointed by California State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon to the new California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, which is working statewide to implement the Housing First strategy. A native of Southern California, Chair Loving earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. She also is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management. She was appointed to the agency’s Board of Commissioners in 2016.
Chair Loving may be reached by email at: Jennifer.Loving@scchousingauthority.org
Denis G. O’Neal, is an attorney with extensive experience in elder, government and labor law. He serves as a member of the Santa Clara County Personnel Board and as a hearing officer for Santa Clara County’s Department of Planning and Development. In 2004, Vice Chair O’Neal retired as Deputy County Counsel at the County of Santa Clara where he had worked for more than 20 years. During that time, he was president and negotiator for the Santa Clara County Counsel Attorneys Association. Before joining the County Counsel’s office, Vice Chair O’Neal was a research assistant for labor law Professor Herman Levy at Santa Clara University School of Law and was a summer extern for former California Supreme Court Justice Allen Broussard. Prior to becoming an attorney, he was a Santa Clara County eligibility and social services worker for 13 years. During that time, he was a founding member, officer and negotiator for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) locals 535 and 715. Vice Chair O’Neal earned a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from San Jose State University and a Juris Doctor degree from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1984. A native of Vallejo, he grew up in a military family and went to grade school and high school in five countries and three states. A resident of Morgan Hill, Vice Chair O’Neal is married, with one son and two grandchildren. He was appointed to SCCHA’s Board of Commissioners in 2011.
Vice Chair O'Neal may be reached by email at: Denis.Oneal@scchousingauthority.org
As one of two commissioners who are tenants of the housing authority, Marilyn Russell lives in Lenzen Gardens Apartments for seniors in San José. An active community organizer, Commissioner Russell enjoys volunteering in Lenzen’s well-known community vegetable garden and assisting with on-site food distribution and recycling programs. Commissioner Russell’s service extends into her neighborhood as well, where she is an eucharistic minister for St. Leo The Great Catholic Church. Prior to retiring in 2015, Commissioner Russell worked 16 years for Comcast Corp. in various sales, customer service and tech support positions. Born in the Philippines, Commissioner Russell earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Immaculate Heart of Mary College in Quezon City, Philippines. She was appointed to SCCHA’s Board of Commissioners in 2019.
Ericka Mendieta has lived at Villas on the Park—one of the county’s first 100% permanent supportive housing developments—since its opening in late 2019. Commissioner Mendieta entered into homelessness while experiencing a toxic marriage as well as a cancer diagnosis. As she began healing from the cancer, she gained the courage to leave her relationship. Outreach from PATH San José helped Commissioner Mendieta get into her own apartment. An integral member of the Villas on the Park community, Commissioner Mendieta is a go-getter who wants to share her experience with homelessness to advocate for and encourage others. A native of Hayward, Commissioner Mendieta worked in customer service for Fidelity Investments for several years after earning an associate degree from Heald College. She was appointed to SCCHA’s Board of Commissioners in 2020.
Kathy Espinoza-Howard has more than 30 years of public sector management experience. Formerly Director of Human Services and Cubberley Community Center Division for the City of Palo Alto, Commissioner Espinoza-Howard has extensive experience in developing public-private partnerships as well as homeless program policy at the local, state and federal levels. She was instrumental in developing and implementing the first countywide homeless plan for Santa Clara County. Commissioner Espinoza-Howard co-founded the Santa Clara County Collaborative on Homeless Services and Affordable Housing, as well as the Community Technology Alliance. In addition, she served as the City of Palo Alto’s management representative in the development and construction of The Opportunity Center of the Midpeninsula, which provides homeless services and affordable housing in downtown Palo Alto. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts from San Jose State University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. Commissioner Espinoza-Howard was appointed to SCCHA’s Board of Commissioners in 2006.
Adrienne Lawton is Associate Pastor and Chief Operations Officer at Community Homeless Alliance Ministry (CHAM) Deliverance Ministry in San José. Her responsibilities include day-to-day administration and coordinating worship services. She is also serving as president of CHAM Deliverance Ministry’s Board of Directors. Commissioner Lawton is a tireless advocate and minister for the homeless, hospitalized and incarcerated, having served in San José as a pastor or in social services for more than 30 years. She has held numerous positions at the CHAM homeless shelter, including case manager, counselor, security officer, children’s mentor and shelter manager. She also volunteered as a case manager for The Progress Program that was part of the Community Homeless Alliance Program, a pilot program to help house homeless families in San José under former Mayor Ron Gonzalez. In 1984, Commissioner Lawton was the first full-time, permanent African-American female employee to be hired as a protective services officer in the Security Department at Santa Clara County Valley Medical Center. Ordained for ministry in 1986, her first ministerial work was as chaplain for a club in The National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs (NACWC). A Bay Area native, she was appointed to SCCHA’s Board of Commissioners in 2013.
William Anderson was a practicing attorney for 30 years in Santa Clara County before retiring from the office of the Santa Clara County Counsel in 2002. For many years he was the Santa Clara County Housing Authority’s legal counsel, and was chair of SCCHA’s Board for eight years. Since his retirement, Commissioner Anderson has been an active member of various county boards and commissions, including the County Personnel Board, the Assessment Appeals Board and the Fair Management Corporation. Commissioner Anderson is a 1972 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley School of Law. He enjoys an active retirement with his wife, Alice Wheatley, in Los Gatos. He was appointed to SCCHA’s Board of Commissioners in 2004.
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