A Message from our CEO
2020 will be remembered as the year we encountered the worst public health crisis in a century. We are now entering what experts have called a dark winter with the pandemic, which is manifesting itself in all areas of the San Joaquin Valley. While our doors remain closed to the general public, we continue to provide vital services to families and communities facing health and housing challenges during this time.

As we welcome the new year, there is hope in the rollout of effective vaccines, but at the same time a clear and present danger in our homes and communities that will likely persist for months.

All of our program efforts are continuing (click here for updates), and we are still operating a Pandemic Relief Fund. Please call us if you think we can help at (559) 651-1000.

From everyone at Self-Help Enterprises, we wish you a safe and peaceful new year!
Stonegate Village is Home
“Home isn't where you're from; it's where you find light when all grows dark.” - Pierce Brown

Amongst the chaos and uncertainty that this year brought, we reflect on the things in life that matter the most. For Nicole and Ashlyn, a brand new apartment at Stonegate Village in Patterson is what they are most thankful for. Nicole, a kind-hearted free spirit, shares what it has been like to move into her new apartment. “It’s beautiful, the best part is having a place to call home,” says Nicole. “When I came back from Alabama in April, everything was shut down [because of the pandemic] and caused problems trying to find housing, so I was homeless.” Read More.
Patterson Families Receive Keys on Christmas Eve
The long wait is finally over for Patterson families who've spent the last year building their homes. Through SHE's Mutual Self-Help Housing Program each family is required to contribute a minimum of 40 hours a week working on all the homes for a typical period of 9 to 12 months. Unfortunately, these families were met with unforeseen delays caused by the Pandemic. But on Christmas Eve, not even their masks could hide their excitement as they eagerly received their keys. Together, families pour foundations, frame the homes, install electrical wiring, hang doors and windows and even paint and lay tile and paint. These labor hours, known as “sweat equity,” are used as the down-payment on their new home, reducing costs for a new home they could otherwise not afford.

SHE also assists each applicant with securing the loans needed to build their home. Special financing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the State of California makes these homes affordable. Participants choose from three and four bedroom floor plans, which include a dishwasher and range, two-car garages, landscaped front yard, and energy-efficient features. What makes the program so successful is that the participating families not only work on their own home, but everyone works on every house in the building group and no one moves in until all houses are completed, creating a community bond.
Electric Dryers in Le Grand
Navigating the launch of the San Joaquin Valley Affordable Energy Project has been a long and, at times, challenging road. Despite the hurdles this year, SHE’s Community Development Energy Team continued to move forward with enrolling families and today, the first two residents in Le Grand received their electric dryers! While there is still much work to do, this is indeed a pivotal moment in the San Joaquin Valley, as we work to decarbonize disadvantaged communities.
 
The San Joaquin Valley Affordable Energy Project is a pilot project aiming to provide 11 communities in the San Joaquin Valley with more affordable energy by converting their home's from propane or wood-burning to an all-electric home. In addition to electric dryers, participating customers will also be receiving heating/cooling, a water heater and a stove. Customers who already have electric appliances are also eligible to apply to replace their old appliances with new, energy-efficient ones. Participants will also receive monthly energy cost discounts as well.

For more information about the project, click here
Community News & Activities
THE PILLOWCASE PROJECT

The Emergency Preparedness team is working hard to ensure that our Tulare County rental sites and the children of Poplar receive education and information through the Pillowcase Project. Children will receive a pillowcase printed with informative images to help young ones start understanding the concept of emergency preparation. Inside the pillow case will be a teddy bear that will have a place for a family picture, as well as a snack, a flashlight, and a Pedro Coloring Book from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). Disbursement of pillowcases is tentatively scheduled for the first week of January. For more information about the project, please email us here.
GREAT NEWS FOR COMMUNITY LEADERS

Maria Luisa Muñoz, a graduate of the 2020 Leadership Institute, and Michael Prado, Sr., a long time community partner and president of Sultana CSD, were appointed to the SAFER Advisory Group. They will be joining Isabel Solorio and Everett McGhee among other community leaders as members of the group. 

Collectively, this is the second year of this effort where the Advisory Group holds an ongoing dialogue with the State Water Resources Control Board about implementation of the Safe & Affordable Drinking Water Fund. 

For more information, please email us here.
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