Newsletter |  August 2019


45 years ago, Peoples' Self-Help Housing completed our first ever self-help home build
in San Miguel, California. This month, PSHH's home-ownership program marked a significant milestone: the 1200 th home completed! In a moment of incidental symmetry this home was built in the same city as where the program began: San Miguel!

This month begins the start of our 50th anniversary celebrations!

The year we were formed was a momentous year set in momentous times.  In 1970 we were a country in conflict.  We were at odds with ourselves, with our government and with many other parts of the world.

Women and those from the LGBT communities were struggling for gender justice; First Nations were continuing their century old fight for sovereignty and social justice and a new voice was being raised for environmental justice in the form of the first ever Earth Day.    

As a teenager growing up in those tumultuous times, I had seen a man taking 'one giant leap for mankind' and a half million South Vietnamese escaping violence after the fall of Saigon. Little did I know that one of those children cradled in his mothers arms and brought to the safety of the United States would one day marry my daughter, have my grandchildren and teach generations of first graders about what a gift it is to be an American.

Fifty years later, with events seeming eerily familiar against the back drop of the Women's March, continuing social justice struggles and immigration crises at our Southern border, we might ask ourselves, has anything changed over the past half century? The answer is of course 'yes', and much of it for the good.

Since Peoples' Self-Help Housing was formed, as an organization we can genuinely take pride in knowing that we have played an important part, both regionally and nationally in making our world a better place. There will always be more to do than we think we will ever have the resources to do but seeing how far we have come in fifty years gives me the greatest of hope for the next fifty.

John Fowler, CPA
President's Summer Book Club - Tell Them Who I Am
People are homeless because they don't have a home.

We often want problems to be more complex, but it really is that simple.  Such is the premise of this plain spoken book which takes us into the lives of homeless women. Women who are not lazy, not criminals, not mentally ill,  they simply cannot afford a home.

Although written almost a quarter of a century ago, it could have been penned yesterday. The struggles remain the same, the solutions still erroneously considered elusive.
Please join us in reading President/CEO John Fowler's third and final selection for his summer book club  Tell Them Who I Am  by Elliot Liebow.
In Fondest Memory of Neal Andrews

"Andrews was an early advocate for homeless services that went beyond the band-aid approach"

"People come and go but Andrews remained...making sure the issue never strayed too far from people's minds"

Long-time homeless advocate, Ventura City Council Member, and Mayor, Neal Andrews passed away this week. Read the full obituary. 

Nine San Miguel Families Become Homeowners! 

This month, after fifteen months of hard work, nine families gathered in San Miguel to celebrate and receive keys to their completed self-help homes.

With tears in her eyes, participant Rebecca Jones (pictured) said, "Hard work pays off, it really does. If it weren't for that and for the help of my neighbors, I wouldn't be here."

During the festivities, PSHH also unveiled the first Little Library to be installed in a self-help neighborhood, with English and Spanish books available for local community members.

Resident Leaders Score School Bus Success!
After months of engaging with local leaders and participating in community advocacy, resident leaders at PSHH's property Casas de las Carneros in Carpinteria scored a big win! 

School bus routes will now pass through the property, allowing for safer transportation to and from school for students living on the property!

Back to School - Give Today and Support Education 

Collaboration & Community at SEA Corps Conference
We were thrilled to collaborate and co-host this year's SEA Corps Conference
 in  Carpinteria and Los Angeles! The conference included a tour of an urban community garden, youth entrepreneur training, business planning services for
 Compton residents and many great presentations by PSHH and partner organizations: Durham Community Land Trustees, Neighborhood Services Chicago, Neighborhood Service Los Angeles, NW Umpqua, Pathfinder Services, Randolph County Housing Authority, and Southern Mutual Help Association.

50 Years. 50 Stories.

Follow PSHH on social media  or visit our website to read
the latest  stories from our '50 Years. 50 Stories.' collection. 

We're  Hiring  - Join the PSHH Team!
We are always searching for innovative, hardworking  individuals to join us - like those in our Communications & Resource Development Department!

With current openings in  multifamily housing  development , maintenance, fiscal, property management, and education, we hope you will check out our job postings ,
 spread the word and help grow our team!

Property Spotlights
Fifty Years of Neighborhoods

Fifty Years of Home Ownership
Oceanview Manor
Celebrating 30 years 
For the seniors and individuals who call Oceanview Manor home, these charming cottage apartments have made a world of difference. 

Designed with safety and dignity in mind, each unit features an emergency alert system monitored by a resident manager. Residents also enjoy a sunny, tranquil courtyard in which to relax, and activities that offer opportunities for companionship in a  supportive atmosphere. 

Terebinth Lane 
Celebrating 8 years
By completing each other's homes in this Templeton neighborhood, owner-builders forged lasting friendships while strengthening their own community. On move-in day, these proud families received not only the keys to their new homes but to their own promising futures.

With the help of volunteers from Cal Poly's Week of Welcome, these hard-working families celebrated in true Central Coast fashion with a Santa Maria-style barbecue! 
PSHH in the Headlines ...


Throughout the summer student in Santa Maria, Lompoc, and Santa Ynez have the opportunity to step into the world of STEM with tours, presentations by industry professionals, and hands-on workshops.


Would SLO County voters pass an affordable housing tax? It's time to find out.
A housing bond measure proposed by the County Board of Supervisors would add an approximate $20/year tax to help rein in local housing costs.

Ventura Family Gives $35,000 to Support Housing, Education Programs 
The Merewether Family Community Fund, via the Ventura County Community Foundation, has generously awarded a portion of the gift to PSHH supportive housing programs.

...and in other Housing News

C entral Coast
A new homeless census and survey shows homelessness is on the rise in SLO County, with nearly 79% identified as unsheltered. 

 Read more about the survey.


California has the most homeless people of any state. But L.A. is still a national model.
With California's homeless population growing, leaders and policymakers throughout the country are watching Los Angeles and other California cities on what to do - and what not to do - to tackle this crisis.

Only the federal government can fix the affordable housing  crisis. Where's the pressure?
Tax credits, inclusionary zoning, rent control... There are many different theories on how to bring forward more affordable housing. 

San Luis Obispo Office 
3533 Empleo Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 781-3088
Ventura Office 
56 E. Main Street #200
Ventura, CA 93001
(805) 695-5138
Santa Barbara Office
26 E. Victoria Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 962-5152