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March Newsletter - In This Issue
 
We are honored to receive the 2017 San Joaquin Valley Blueprint Award of Excellence from Fresno State's Office of Community and Economic Development. The award recognizes the development of Self-Help Enterprises' Highland Gardens apartments in Visalia - a sustainable, energy-efficient development project providing housing to 36 families.
CELEBRATING THE VALLEY'S ONLY HOMEOWNERSHIP 
CENTER
Families, dignitaries, and community partners joined Self-Help Enterprises on March 30 to celebrate the organization's designation as a NeighborWorks® Homeownership Center. This designation assists Self-Help Enterprises with resources and coordination essential for delivering comprehensive, quality homeownership services and expanding homeownership opportunities in the San Joaquin Valley.

The celebration event included information about Self-Help Enterprises' homeownership and housing programs, home fire safety information, food and refreshments, and resource booths featuring community partners. 


 
We were honored to have Joe Dabek, NeighborWorks America Western Region Senior Relationship Manager; Assemblyman Devon Mathis; Stephanie Amaral, Field Representative for California State Senator Jean Fuller; and Tulare County Supervisor Steve Worthley join us for the event.   
 
As the Valley's only Homeownership Center, Self-Help Enterprises works with families to turn the dream of homeownership into a reality through the Gateway: Your Path to Homeownership program . Serving as a "one-stop shop" for prospective homebuyers , Self-Help Enterprises' homeownership counselors walk individuals and families through the different types of mortgage rates , the effect credit scores have on being approved for a loan, and how much down payment is needed for purchase. A tailored action plan is then developed to assist homebuyers in achieving their financial homeownership goals. 
 
Learn more about the Gateway program here.

HEALTH FAIR OFFERS FREE SCREENINGS
Self-Help Enterprises, in partnership with Kern Family Health Care and Kern Public Health Department, held the "Healthy Living" health fair at the Villa Hermosa apartment rental community in Wasco (Kern County). 
 
The fair promoted health and wellness as well as chronic disease prevention. With the support of our health-focused Kern County partners, residents participated in dental checks, health screenings and consultations, safety and nutrition information, face painting, and also enjoyed delicious food.



As a recipient of the Kern Family Health Care Community Grant Program, Self-Help Enterprises received funding to provide these valuable health services to the community. 
 
Thank you to all who made this a great event: Delano Regional Medical Center, Kern County Department of Child Support Services and Omni Family Health.
TOM'S TAKE: PROPOSED FEDERAL BUDGET 
By Tom Collishaw, CEO of Self-Help Enterprises 
Budgets proposed by Presidents are a starting point - they are never the final say. After all, our constitution provides that Congress controls the spending of money, not the administrative branch. So the President's budget is little more than a blueprint for what his administration would like to see. It is symbolic at best.
But symbols mean something, and this budget blueprint is a horrific vision of dismantling programs that help Americans move out of poverty.

Looking at the key programs that Self-Help Enterprises (SHE) utilizes extensively, this budget blueprint is nothing less than carnage. People will suffer, but maybe even more tragically, they will stop dreaming. Dreaming of a better life through a homeownership opportunity or affordable apartment in a good neighborhood, dreaming of improving a block or whole community with essential services, dreaming of a better future. 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been the home of major housing and community development programs for decades. The HOME program has been a cornerstone of our rental housing, housing rehabilitation, and homebuyer assistance efforts since its inception during the Bush I administration. The Trump administration would close the program. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) has been around even longer, with a variety of eligible uses that are targeted by income, allowing localities to decide their own priority uses for the money. With CDBG, we have worked with jurisdictions to provide critical infrastructure, housing, and community facilities over the decades to provide opportunities for poor people and their neighborhoods. The Trump administration would close the program. The Self-Help Opportunity Program (SHOP) has been around for less time, but has provided resources to buy and develop building sites for self-help homebuilders. The Trump administration would close the program.

NeighborWorks America (NWA) is a nongovernmental entity which receives funding directly from the federal government to provide resources to a network of nearly 250 community development organizations throughout the country - SHE is one of them. One of NWA's credos is "strength matters". This is one of the few programs that truly rewards success through its funding process. The Trump administration would close the program.

In an odd twist, a major part of the blueprint for the Department of Agriculture is to eliminate the Water and Wastewater program, which provides critical funding to rural water and sewer providers. SHE uses these funds to help poor communities access - and be able to afford - clean drinking water. This is odd since rural America, more than anyone, elected this President, and also because he campaigned on the importance of rebuilding our infrastructure.

There are clearly additional cuts in Department of Agriculture programs that we have not seen yet but will see in stark clarity in May.
One of the most striking aspects of this slash and burn approach is that all of the programs highlighted here are typically what primes the pump, leveraging other dollars, multiplying relatively small federal investments many times over. The other shortsighted aspect of such cuts is that they are major job generators in rural America.

It might feel different if there was any discussion about broader belt-tightening on the part of the federal government. But there is no discussion of real entitlement reform (Social Security and Medicare) or Defense spending. And the general approach on the revenue side is likely to be to reduce taxes.

We will continue to advocate for these important programs as the process moves forward. After all, we can't stop dreaming.
SELF-HELP ENTERPRISES RECEIVES PARTNERSHIP RECOGNITION AWARD
In July 2015, Stanislaus County formed the Temporary Water Assistance program, a partnership with Self-Help Enterprises, in response to the severe drought conditions. The Temporary Water Assistance program provides a temporary source of water through the installation of a water tank which supplies water to households throughout Stanisalaus County. 

In recognition of the successful partnership, the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors recognized Stanislaus County and Self-Help Enterprises. Through the County's Emergency Water Oversight Committee, Self-Help Enterprises administers the Temporary Water Assistance program, which includes arranging for the installation of the water assistance system, educating program recipients, system maintenance, water delivery and reporting. 

Because the continued drought has uniquely impacted rural Stanislaus County residents who have historically relied on wells for their water supply, many households were left without a reliable clean water supply. A lack of access to water is a substantial hardship for a family and going without a dependable water supply for a long period of time can potentially put the health and safety of those affected at risk.

The Temporary Water Assistance partnership has addressed these issues with the temporary water distribution system. Instead of waiting for a new or deeper well, residents are able to remain in their home while a long-term solution becomes available. 
JOIN OUR TEAM
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 an opening for an Administrative Analyst in our Mutual Self-Help Housing program and an Administrative Analyst in our Community Development department. The Administrative Analysts are responsible for program analysis, public presentations, report preparation, public relations, grant and proposal writing, and support to program staff. 

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