Kevin Finally Has a Safe Place to Call Home
Kevin Duvall moved into his new Sequoia Commons apartment only a couple of months ago and already he says that his entire life has changed. To understand the enormity of this change, we must first dive into what makes Kevin so special.

Kevin was born and raised in Visalia. As a young child, he worked in the fields, picking and harvesting fruit. It was a family affair, “All my family, my grandpa, grandma, everybody worked in the fields at one point,” reminisced Kevin. “I remember we would be out there hanging on the arms of tractors and pulling the bins down the middle of the rows for the grapes and the oranges.” He was a normal, happy kid who also fondly remembers attending Mt. Whitney High School.

Many years later, he would find himself caring for his dying mother. Kevin’s mother eventually passed, leaving him alone and without a home. “My mother lived in that home for 34 years, but because we had a reverse mortgage, once she passed, the bank took the home. I walked away with a backpack, two photo albums and my mom’s ashes.”  READ MORE.
Tom's Remarks at the National Self-Help Housing Conference in Albuquerque
Photo credit via Twitter @ RD_Texas

First, it’s always great to gather with the most inspirational group of affordable housing people in the country – those who have committed to work in the mutual self-help housing program. Thanks for this great opportunity.

I addressed the last national conference nearly five years ago in San Antonio, making remarks about how those of us who work in the self-help program share a specific DNA, and how that critical gene informs our everyday actions.
This time I’m going to take a different tack; one that acknowledges our history but also takes stock of our present, and encourages us all to think about the future of the self-help program.

My organization Self-Help Enterprises has been at this for a long time. We just celebrated our 55th year as a nonprofit, but the earliest pilot projects began in 1963 in a little community of just over 1,000 residents called Goshen, California in Tulare County. I recently came across a study done by Richard Margolis, who was an early chronicler of mutual self-help housing, dated June 5, 1967. It was entitled “A Preliminary Look at the Impact of Self-Help Housing upon Participating Families”, and it sought to tabulate results of one of the first building groups in Goshen as the program was gaining traction nationally. In fact, he reported that there were nearly 50 organizations with self-help housing programs around the country during the time of the report. READ MORE.
Join our growing team!
 “Coming to work brings me so much satisfaction knowing that we are helping our participants and community members improve their living conditions.” - Melissa Valdez, Housing Rehabilitation Program Manager.  

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. Our team consists of dedicated individuals from a variety of professional and technical backgrounds: real estate brokers and agents, licensed contractors, financial and land development experts, management specialists, information technology, accounting and clerical all joined with a shared mission of working with families to build and sustain healthy homes and communities.

We are currently recruiting for the following positions:

Natural Gas Pilot Project Kickoff Meeting
SHE’s Energy Team facilitated the San Joaquin Valley Affordable Energy Project Kick-Off Meeting in California City! A new pilot project that provides access to affordable, clean and renewable energy to selected communities whose residents currently use propane or wood burning appliances. In California City, eligible homes will be connected to natural gas lines and will receive new energy-efficient appliances at no-cost. Participation in this project means that residents may no longer need to use propane in their home. This pilot is administered by SoCal Gas and is funded by California utility ratepayers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Applications Now Open for the Doris Dooley Scholarship
The Doris “Do” Dooley Scholarship, named after Self-Help Enterprises’ former Board member and dedicated friend of the organization, was established to help the children of Self-Help Enterprises’ participant families to further their education. This competitive academic scholarship is available to students from families that have participated in one of our programs and who plan to enroll full time (12 units or more) in a vocational or trade school, community college or four-year university. Scholarship recipients must submit verification of enrollment prior to disbursement of funds. APPLY HERE.