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December, 2016 - In This Issue
The holidays are known as a season of giving. This year, our staff donated blood to the Central California Blood Center. We are grateful for the opportunity to help residents in our community. 
Self-Help Enterprises offers an exciting work environment where you can bring your high caliber skills to a true career opportunity and impact the world around you.

We have openings for a  Self-Help Housing Program Manager responsible for recruitment and financing activities of the mutual self-help housing program; and multiple Community Development Specialist positions responsible for helping rural communities in obtaining safe drinking water and sanitary disposal systems.

In 2016, over 2,700 hours were contributed by volunteers who committed time, resources, and energy to help low-income families in need of safe, affordable housing.

Guided by a construction superintendent, the volunteers helped with framing, hanging doors, landscaping, laying tile, and painting the interior and exterior of the homes.                        

Among the volunteers, Self-Help Enterprises hosted students from Fresno State, Orestimba High School in Newman, Dunn School in Los Olivos, Rotary Youth Exchange and UC Berkeley as well as members from Parkside Community Church in Sacramento. In July, 22 youth volunteers from Faith Presbyterian Church in Sacramento spent a week of their summer vacation working alongside participants building their homes in Winton (Merced County). Over five days, the group volunteered 704 hours. 
We are incredibly grateful to all our volunteers for contributing their time to help families achieve the dream of homeownership.
This holiday season and all year round, you can shop with AmazonSmile and support Self-Help Enterprises. When you shop on Amazon using this link , you'll find the exact same prices and selection as Amazon, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to our organization. 

We hope you'll bookmark the link and share it with your friends and family. We appreciate your support!
Eleven families in Winton (Merced County) are celebrating the holidays in their new homes - homes that they built themselves from the ground up. 
The homes were built under the mutual self-help method of construction where each family contributed 40 hours a week for ten months. Together, families poured foundations, framed homes, installed electrical wiring, installed siding, laid tile, landscaped, and painted the interior and exterior of the homes.

These labor hours, or "sweat equity", are used as the down payment on their new home, reducing costs for a new home they could otherwise not afford. Self-Help Enterprises assisted each applicant with securing special financing and low-interest loans needed to build their home. This makes homeownership possible for hardworking, low-income families. 

Manny Altamirano had always hoped to buy a home for his wife and two children . He had been looking for homes for a while, but the high cost of a mortgage on a house in a safe neighborhood exceeded his limited budget . Through Self-Help Enterprises' program, Mr. Altamirano went from renting a home in Atwater to owning a new home in Winton - a home with a monthly mortgage that is less than what he paid to rent.  The dream of providing a better life for his family (pictured below) and a home where his children could grow carried Mr. Altamirano through the hard work of building their home. 

The Altamirano family are among 61 families who have built their own homes through Self-Help Enterprises this year. 

Families not only build their homes and those of their neighbors, they also build an instant community, a sense of place, skills that will last a lifetime, and a foundation for a bright future.
As the year draws to a close, we take a moment to reflect on the past year and our accomplishments toward our mission of  working together with low-income families to build and sustain healthy homes and communities.
This year we witnessed incredible progress toward permanent drought relief. After years without running water, East Porterville residents started connecting to a permanent, sustainable source of water that is returning their home taps to normal and ending hardships brought on by the drought.

By the end of this month, 70 homes will be connected and receive water from the City of Porterville. As many as 1,800 homes in East Porterville, with either no water or undrinkable water in their wells, are expected to be connected to Porterville's water system by the end of 2017.

While working toward long-term solutions for drought-affected communities, our Community Development staff continued to assist disadvantaged communities affected by groundwater contamination. Residents of Matheny Tract, a rural community of over 350 homes near Tulare where water is contaminated by arsenic and nitrate, celebrated the connection to the City of Tulare water system, bringing clean, reliable drinking water to the community. The Pratt Mutual Water Company, its Board of Directors, the Matheny Tract Committee, and residents worked together with partners including Self-Help Enterprises, Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability, and the State Water Resources Control Board to complete this decade old-project.

In our Housing Rehabilitation program, the first manufactured home was installed in Chowchilla (Madera County). These homes, which are all built to state code, replace stick-built and mobile homes that are in need of extensive repair and are no longer safe or healthy. Manufactured housing is an important source of affordable housing and, with proper financing through our program, provides economic security and a new, safe home. Since the launch of the Manufactured Housing program, two mobile homes have been repaired to meet safety codes and two families have received a new manufactured home. 

In November, Self-Help Enterprises and the City of Visalia celebrated the ribbon cutting for the Highland Gardens apartment rental community. Highland Gardens, the first rental project in Visalia for Self-Help Enterprises, features 36 two- and three-bedroom apartments as well as a half-court basketball court, playground, community center, solar carports, and community garden where residents can grow fruits and vegetables. 

We look forward to continuing to  improve the living conditions of San Joaquin Valley residents  in the new year. 
Copyright © 2016, Self Help Enterprises
8445 W. Elowin Court, Visalia, CA 93291
All Rights Reserved.