Our State of the Organization


For those who need one-on-one counseling to assist with budgeting issues related to COVID-19 call us at (559) 651-1000 and ask for the Gateway.

For Homeowner & Renter Resources Click here

We ask participants to submit documentation via upload to our website rather than mailing or emailing.

For the latest COVID-19 program updates, visit our website .

While there is no playbook for the unprecedented disruption in our lives brought by this pandemic, SHE’s core values of teamwork, adherence to mission, and resilience have informed our collective response.

To be sure, impacts are being felt during this crisis. Not the least of these are:

  • At least 10% of households in our rental projects struggled to pay their monthly rent in April
  • Families dependent on bottled water deliveries for access to clean water experienced shortages
  • Contractors suffered from staffing shortages and delays in subcontracted work
  • Outreach–dependent services were challenged during a transition to exclusively virtual connectivity
  • Rental projects ready to move forward encountered skittish investors, creating potential new gaps in funding
  • Anxiety over the pandemic and its effect on the economy created a paralyzing uncertainty in our disadvantaged households and communities

Nevertheless, SHE persisted. Some highlights include:
  1. Bottled water donations – SHE worked with partners to secure major donations from Nestle and Pepsi and continued critical deliveries
  2. Working from home – our IT staff provided connectivity and support to over 90 staff working remotely beginning March 20
  3. Food deliveries – Resident Services staff partnered with food distribution organizations to deliver food to students and vulnerable populations
  4. Raising money for families – SHE started a COVID-19 fund to directly assist needy families, which already stands at $50,000 and growing
  5. Retooling our counseling services – housing counseling staff pivoted to providing coronavirus crisis assistance for people struggling to make mortgage, rent, and utility payments
  6. Keeping staff engaged and paid – SHE made no staff reductions, and successfully secured funding for eight weeks through the CARES Act from our partner Central Valley Community Bank
  7. Construction continues at four rental housing sites and six self-help housing projects, where precautions are being taken to keep people safe

SHE is engaged in scenario planning for whatever comes next, including several “reopening” possibilities. We remain operationally and mentally strong, while our commitment to serving our community is unwavering. This newsletter highlights several success stories in uncertain times.

-Tom Collishaw, President & CEO
Remembering Gary
Self-Help Enterprises is deeply saddened to report the passing of Gary Tillery, a seventeen year veteran who was a cherished member of our staff. After a gallant struggle, Gary succumbed to the ravages of the coronavirus in a Visalia hospital. We are all devastated by the loss of our friend and colleague.

Gary worked first as a Construction Supervisor managing single family repair projects, and was later promoted to Coordinator for Plans and Permits. This role entailed coordinating with architects, engineers, and other consultants to complete all of our applications for single family home building permits. Gary also coordinated the payment of all necessary fees to move forward on over 1,000 homes for low income families in our self-help housing and housing rehab programs. Late in 2019, Gary was responsible for securing 96 building permits for self-help homebuilders in advance of changes to the building code in 2020, saving them thousands of dollars on the cost of their first home. In recent years Gary also took on the challenges of managing the maintenance and improvements needed at our main office buildings in Visalia.

Gary will be remembered fondly for his quick smile, friendly and supportive attitude, and practical knowledge of construction. He was a comforting and supportive co-worker who always had a kind word. His patience with various building departments around the valley would make him an immediate candidate for sainthood, because Gary knew instinctively that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. He was a truly selfless man who had no trouble in identifying the strengths of all he came in contact with.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during an extremely difficult time.
Partner Highlight: Central Valley Community Bank
As part of our new Partner Highlight Series, we would like to honor Central Valley Community Bank (CVCB) for their longstanding partnership with SHE. In 2015, CVCB provided a subdivision construction loan for 37 single-family subdivision lots in Parksdale. Since then, they have also funded a 72-lot subdivision in Planada and are preparing to close a loan to construct a 37 lot subdivision in Orosi.

“CVCB has been a valuable partner,” says Betsy McGovern-Garcia, Director of SHE’s Real Estate Development Program. “We appreciate their unwavering commitment to bringing more affordable housing opportunities to our valley.” 

CVCB also supports SHE’s rental housing development efforts by sponsoring Affordable Housing Program (AHP) applications through the Federal Home Loan Bank. CVCB provided $660,000 for the development of 66-units at the Sequoia Commons project in Goshen, helped SHE secure $520,000 for 52 units in Madera and $640,000 to construct 64 units at Sierra Village II in Dinuba. CVCB recently sponsored 3 applications for a total of $1,720,000, which will fund 172 units of new affordable rental housing.

In the last month, the partnership reached new heights amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as SHE successfully secured funding for eight weeks through the Payroll Protection Act through CVCB.

 “As a community bank, we strongly believe in supporting our communities and directly helping the people who live, work and play there. Organizations like Self-Help Enterprises change lives and we are proud to be a part of that change by assisting families to achieve their dreams,” stated James M. Ford, President and CEO of Central Valley Community Bank.
SHE Continues Construction on Vital Affordable Housing Projects
While Real Estate Development has suspended all non-essential travel and moved meetings to teleconference, construction on vital affordable housing projects continue with precautions. For the latest updates on the construction of our multi-family projects, click here .
Other Activities

SHE is doing all that it can to bring food supplies to seniors, low-income, and farm-working families in quarantine. In partnership with organizations such as AWI, Foodlink and Proteus, SHE's Resident Services Team has delivered food supplies to 395 families throughout Tulare County. 

COVID-19 has exacerbated existing disparities. Stockpiling has made it difficult to find bottled water in stores. For those with unsafe tap water, the shortage threatens their only source of safe water. Many people felt for the first time in recent weeks the fear and anxiety of water scarcity. Thanks to donations from Nestle and Coca-Cola, the Emergency Services Team has delivered close to 30,000 gallons of water to families all over the San Joaquin Valley.