How SHE Staff is Adapting to the New Normal

Without a doubt, we are living in unprecedented times. COVID-19 barged in without warning and disrupted our lives without remorse. As we all work together to flatten the curve, businesses and organizations like ours had to think quickly, adapting to move the majority of our operations off-site and from home. The idea alone was overwhelming when taking into account our 117 employees, many of them with robust daily activities requiring scanning, faxing, printing, taking calls, and the use of technology in general.
With the help of our amazing tech team and our incredibly accommodating staff, SHE successfully moved its operations to working from home, with the exception of a few essential staff who also alternate between in-office and working from home days. 

These changes came with their fair share of challenges. Here, our staff shares their honest and heartfelt thoughts on what it’s been like to work from home. Read more.
Cottonwood Creek Apartments New Solar PV
Cottonwood Creek Apartments, located in Madera, is a 40-unit rental project providing much needed housing for low-income families. A solar PV system has been installed at the rental site and recently received Permission to Operate (PTO) from PG&E. The solar PV energy generated will offset over 80% of electricity consumed at the property. Residents should begin to see solar PV energy savings on their PG&E bills after a couple of billing cycles. 
Partner Highlight: Bank of America
For this month’s partner feature, we would like to highlight Bank of America, a longtime partner and foundational supporter of our Gateway program, which offers educational and counseling services to equip potential homeowners with the tools and resources needed to meet their financial and homeownership goals. Because of the Gateway process, each family that completes one of our programs emerges as an educated, self-sustaining homeowner, which honors our mission of working together with low income families to build and sustain healthy homes and communities. 
“We are privileged to have a relationship with Bank of America,” said Leon Romanazzi, SHE’s Homeownership Counseling & Education Manager. “Our BofA partners Marisa Moore, Vice President, Fresno-Visalia Market Manager; Veronica Vallejo, Community Lending Officer; and Ana Esparza, Financial Center Manager, have been part of our efforts to improve financial management and homeownership opportunities for our participants. Notably, Veronica’s understanding of the need for additional resources and coaching before homeownership has been an important part of our successful partnership. Providing resources and information at the earliest opportunity is key.”
“The home buying process can get complex at times, which is why programs like Gateway are so important and impactful for the first time buyer – it truly can mean the difference in getting into the right home and the best financing options,” said Veronica Vallejo, Community Lending Officer, Bank of America. “Coupled with valuable funding resources like grants for closing costs and down payments that Bank of America offers, we can together help keep the dream of homeownership alive for future Fresno and Central Valley residents.” 

We are grateful for their continued support, most recently in the form of a $20,000 grant toward our program activities.  
Happy Retirement Terry
Self-Help Enterprises would like to wish Mr. Terry Williams a very happy retirement! Terry was the Loan Portfolio Manager under our Partner Services Department.

"Our lending portfolio grew tremendously under Terry’s leadership, now standing at over 2,300 borrowers for a total of $62 million," says Tom Collishaw, CEO of Self-Help Enterprises. Terry leaves a legacy of service to our borrowers, and stewardship of precious resources at SHE. We will miss him greatly as both a friend and colleague."

Terry looks forward to spending more time with family and leaves with many fond memories. “I am very thankful for my 22 years at Self-Help Enterprises! During this time, I had the pleasure of getting to know many wonderful people, people that I helped over the years, and the friendships that I established during this journey. Self-Help Enterprises has been a major part of my life, and I will treasure the memories very much. Thank you!"
Other Activities

We are excited to share that we've kicked off our Summer Lunch Program (SLP) in the following sites:

  • Rancho Lindo
  • Solinas Village
  • Almond Court
  • North Park
  • Goshen Village II
  • Casa de la Vina
  • Villa Del Rey
  • Vera Cruz / Nueva Sierra Vista
  • Biola Village

Our SLP is organized by our Resident Services Team and consists of free nutritious meals available for children and teens living at these sites. COVID-19 safety measures will be in place. This year, we are also serving breakfast. All together, we expect to serve over 4,000 meals in breakfast and lunch throughout the summer!
The San Joaquin Valley Affordable Energy Pilot Program Update

Some staff members from the Community Development Energy Team are presently working in California City, Ducor, and West Goshen to enroll residents into the San Joaquin Valley Affordable Energy Pilot Program. Residents are very excited!

In the next two weeks, residents of California City who enrolled in program will start the conversion process, which consists of connecting residents to the natural gas line. For more information about this project, please contact the Community Energy Navigator for these areas, Arlene Guerra at (559) 802-1773.