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June Newsletter - In This Issue
Nutritious free meals are available for children and teens 18 and younger at several of our apartment rental communities in Kings, Kern, Fresno, Madera, and Tulare counties. Many families rely on school lunch to help ease tight budgets. However, when summer arrives and school meals are no longer an option, some families struggle financially to provide meals for their children. Federally funded nutrition programs like these are in place to help children get the nourishment they need to grow and learn during the summer months. 

Self-Help Enterprises opened the doors to the Goshen Village Book Nook with a ribbon cutting celebration at Goshen Village Apartments on June 4. The Book Nook, housing over 500 children's and young adult's books, is the first of five onsite literacy centers designated to increase access to reading materials and support family literacy in rural communities.


Children and teens at Goshen Village can use the cozy, woodland-themed Book Nook to read a diverse selection of books during the onsite after-school program hours of Monday through Friday, 3 pm to 5 pm. Many hours went into curating the book catalog, which includes classics from Dr. Seuss to Beverly Cleary and newer releases such as Be Kind by Pat Miller and Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky. The ability to check out books will be available in the near future along with scheduled reading hours hosted by volunteers from partner organizations.



The Goshen Village Apartments, like the community of Goshen, has residents who are bilingual or whose primary language is Spanish. Therefore, children's books are available in Spanish to encourage reading among Spanish-speaking families. Book titles in Spanish include Dentro de Mi Imaginación by Marta Arteaga and De Como Tía Lola Vino a Quedarse by Julia Alvarez.


The opening of the Book Nook is timed with the ending of the school year, as the new Book Nook increases educational opportunities for children who have limited access to books, especially during the summer break.



The Whitney Foundation, Lions Pride Club, United Way of Tulare County, and Self-Help Enterprises provided the funding for the Book Nook furnishings and new books. In attendance were Cheri Provancha, member of the Lions Pride Club, Rosemary Caso, Executive Director for United Way of Tulare County, and Amy Shuklian, Tulare County Supervisor.


Additional Book Nooks are coming to Self-Help Enterprises' apartment rental communities in Tulare County. These include Goshen Village II in Goshen, Sand Creek in Orosi, Washington Plaza in Earlimart and Vera Cruz in Richgrove. The Book Nooks are expected to be opened by the end of the year.


See more photos of the Book Nook here.

Our dedicated Board Members generously contribute their time and professional expertise to Self-Help Enterprises. Each month, we will introduce you to two of our Board Members. 

Dave Herb - Board Chair

As Board Chair, Dave Herb presides over Board meetings and establishes Board committees. 

Mr. Herb brings extensive knowledge in city planning having most recently served as the Executive Director of the Madera County Local Agency Formation Commission where he was responsible for the ongoing functions of the Commission and compliance with State laws and local policies governing annexation, reorganization, and incorporation. 

Mr. Herb was also responsible for the operation of the Madera County Resource Management Agency, including promoting both public safety and economic diversity. Prior to these roles, Mr. Herb served as the Planning Director for Madera County and Division Manager for the City of Fresno Department of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization. 

Mr. Herb has contributed his time to his community through his participation in the Executive Committee of the Fresno Art Museum and volunteering his time as Docent at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.

Dolores Salgado

As a civil engineer, Dolores Salgado has over 18 years of experience in the planning and design of civil transportation and water and sewer projects. Ms. Salgado currently manages the Infrastructure Engineering Corporation (IEC) Central Valley office located in Bakersfield. Her civil transportation experience includes light rail transit and bus rapid transit. 

She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Industry Advisory Board for the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievements (MESA) program at Bakersfield College. 

Ms. Salgado is passionate about community service and recently established an American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Club at McFarland High School, her alma mater, where she currently mentors students, provides scholarships, and coordinates engineering activities for students interested in careers in engineering.
Self-Help Enterprises has been selected as a 2018 California Nonprofit of the Year by Assemblymember Rudy Salas, who represents the 32nd Assembly District.
"For over half a century, Self-Help Enterprises has helped thousands of families in the Central Valley realize the American dream of home ownership," said Assemblymember Salas. "Self-Help Enterprises brings people together who want to put in the work through 'sweat equity' to help families build their homes and their futures. I am proud to recognize Self-Help Enterprises as Non-Profit of the Year and am thankful for their commitment to building stronger communities together."

Self-Help Enterprises' staff traveled to Sacramento to join one hundred other nonprofits to be honored by their state senators and assemblymembers during a celebration luncheon as part of California Nonprofits Day on June 6. 

Since 1965, Self-Help Enterprises has helped more than 6,200 families build their own homes, rehabilitated over 6,400 unsafe homes, developed over 1,350 units of affordable rental housing and has provided technical assistance for reliable access to safe drinking water and sanitary sewer infrastructures to more than 160 small communities.
"We are deeply humbled to be recognized by Assemblymember Rudy Salas as a Nonprofit of the Year," said Tom Collishaw, President and CEO of Self-Help Enterprises. "Assemblymember Salas has provided ongoing support to our housing programs - from coordinating back-to-school backpack donations and providing dozens of new coats to students at Self-Help Enterprises' apartment rental communities in Kern County to volunteering several times at our self-help construction sites."
"Nonprofits make California communities stronger, yet we're often so busy that we don't toot our own horns about the work we're doing," explains Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits). "California Nonprofits Day is an opportunity for our elected officials to recognize the good work they see nonprofits doing in their districts, and it also demonstrates the larger collective impact of nonprofits throughout California."

Thank you, Assemblymember Rudy Salas!
On June 15, keys were handed out to eleven families who built their homes together in Traver (Tulare County). 

Among the families is Amanda Navarro who built a home with her husband Jordan Navarro. "This experience means a lot to my family. My daughters are also excited to have their own room," said Amanda. "We were renting before and my daughters had to share a room, but now we have a home of our own. The location is also perfect for us. I work for Traver Elementary School, which is only a few houses away".

The rural community of Traver has historically lacked new housing options. The demand from the community for affordable housing, coupled with revitalization efforts by the County of Tulare, led Self-Help Enterprises to commit resources to help improve infrastructure and housing. After many years of planning and anticipation, Self-Help Enterprises was able to purchase and develop the subdivision in partnership with the County, who are now developing plans to improve community infrastructure. The affordable housing project is complemented by a new health clinic facility built by Family HealthCare Network, another traditional partner of Self-Help Enterprises, on a nearby site. The construction of the new self-help neighborhood, located at the northwest corner of Canal Drive and Jacobs Drive, has also resulted in sidewalk improvements along one side of Jacobs Drive.

Through the Self-Help Housing program, the eleven families worked together under supervision from a construction superintendent to build one another's houses.  Each homeowner contributed a minimum of forty hours per week (over sixty five percent of the construction labor) toward completion of all homes in the group. These labor hours, or "sweat equity," are used as the down payment on their new home, resulting in affordable monthly payments. The families receive their keys and move into their homes once all homes in the group are completed. 

The single-family, energy-efficient homes range from 1,256 to 1,361 square feet and feature three or four bedrooms, two baths, covered patios, and two-car garages. 

Self-Help Enterprises provides homeownership education, financial fitness counseling, and home maintenance training prior to completion of the program. Historically this training has made self-help homeowners among the most successful long-term homeowners of any program in the nation. 

Since 1965, when Self-Help Enterprises pioneered the mutual self-help housing program, the organization has helped more than 6,250 families in the San Joaquin Valley build their own homes.

We are hiring a Communications and Outreach Specialist to engage all facets of public relations  (media relations, content development, design, and dissemination) and community outreach (organization, participant, and staff events; and resource development).

We also have multiple openings for Community Development Specialists in our Community Development Department, which helps rural, low-income communities in obtaining safe drinking water and sanitary disposal systems. The responsibilities include working with communities, water and sewer boards, and engineers to facilitate project planning and development.
In addition, we're hiring an Office Tech with an emphasis on front office reception and participant intake; and a Construction Superintendent for the north service area (Fresno and north). The superintendent is responsible for the training and supervision of mutual self-help housing participants in the construction of their new homes.

Self-Help Enterprises offers great benefits including year-round, stable work; medical, dental, and vision insurance; 401K; paid holidays; and more.
Copyright © 2017, Self Help Enterprises
8445 W. Elowin Court, Visalia, CA 93291
All Rights Reserved.
  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.