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Our House founder to step down as executive director

Richard “Benny” Bienvenue, the founder of Our House residential job-training program in Brookeville, speaks with a visitor during the Olney Chamber of Commerce annual Community Night last fall. He will step down as executive director after decades of service to the organization.

Photo Credit:

Judith Hruz/The Greater Olney News

by Terri Hogan
Senior Staff Writer
Richard “Benny” Bienvenue, the founder of Our House residential job-training program in Brookeville, has stepped down as executive director.
Bienvenue, 68, said that after more than 45 years of teaching and counseling, including 23 years as the program’s executive director, it is time to begin a new chapter of his life.
He is looking forward to pursuing hobbies and spending time with his wife.
Aaron Collins, a former NFL player from Erie, Pa., has been named the organization’s new director.
“The board voted unanimously to approve Aaron as executive director,” Our House board member Fred Silver said. “He has lots of great ideas, and we are very excited to have him on the Our House staff. He is very inspiring.”
As for Bienvenue, Silver said he cannot say enough about him and what he has accomplished.
“Benny is the heart and soul of Our House — he always has been and always will be,” he said.
Bienvenue said his new role as executive director emeritus allows him to remain an integral part of Our House for as long as there are youths who need a helping hand.
“My new role is to be an ambassador, and to do things with the kids, and to help in any way I can,” he said.
He will continue to pursue the completion of a new dormitory under construction on the Brookeville farm.
The new building will allow the program for at-risk males, ages 16-21, to expand from 16 to 24 residents. The trainees currently sleep in a former cinderblock garage, built in the 1920s.
The construction project is nearly complete, but construction is temporarily on hold until Our House can raise an additional $470,000.
To make a donation or for more information, go to www.our-house.org.

Terri Hogan can be reached at [email protected].

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