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March, 2015 - In This Issue

On March 11, 65 volunteers from the Tulare County Association of Realtors, an organization of real estate professionals serving Tulare County, worked alongside 12 families in Tulare who are building their new, safe, healthy homes through Self-Help Enterprises' New Homes program. Volunteers assisted with construction tasks including siding, light electrical and painting.   

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 openings for a Loan Processor responsible for recruitment of participants, determination of program eligibility, loan processing and packaging; a Community Development Specialist responsible for assisting rural low-income communities in obtaining safe drinking water and sanitary sewer disposal facilities; and an Accounting Technician responsible for payroll and benefits administration, processing, coding and posting data, and preparing and filing reports. Learn more here.
On March 5, 9 families received keys to their new, affordable homes in Goshen. These hardworking families spent the last 11 months helping each other build their homes under the mutual self-help method of construction where each family is required to contribute a minimum of 40 hours a week working on all the homes.

Together, families poured foundations, framed homes, installed electrical wiring, hung doors and windows and even laid tile and painted the homes.

Self-Help Enterprises does more than work with families to build a new, safe place to call home. Families are witnesses to the results of hard work and personal investment. Their homes stand as living proof that they and their children can shape their own futures.
Jose Ruelas, Maria Magana and their children pose with construction site superintendent Carlos Garcia (far right) after receiving their certificate of completion for building their new home.

The Doris "Do" Dooley Scholarship, named after Self-Help Enterprises' former Board member and dedicated friend of the organization, was established to assist the children of Self-Help Enterprises' participant families who are pursuing their dreams of higher 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 in a vocational or trade school, community college or four-year university. Learn more about eligibility and download the application here. Scholarship applications are being accepted through April 3.  


Since 1997, Self-Help Enterprises has awarded 92 scholarships totaling nearly $80,000 to deserving students.

The drought's water shortage has impacted many San Joaquin Valley families who rely on ground water for their daily lives. To help low-income families whose private household water well has gone dry, Self-Help Enterprises is working with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to identify funding sources for qualified homeowners in need of construction, refurbishment or servicing of an individual household water well system.


One of the individuals Self-Help Enterprises has assisted is Abelardo De Leon Garcia, a resident of Kingsburg whose well has been dry since July 2014. Mr. De Leon Garcia qualified to receive a deferred payment loan from the USDA Housing Preservation Grant as well as a USDA Rural Development grant to drill a new well at his Kingsburg property where he has resided for over 30 years.  


On March 9, the new well was drilled to the depth of 250 ft. in order to reach ground water. Since his well went dry, Mr. De Leon Garcia, a senior citizen who lives on his own, received water from his neighbor via a water hose and showered at his daughter's house. After having his water source suddenly gone, the new water well is providing relief and the first water in his home in months.


Self-Help Enterprises is thrilled to announce that Governor Brown has appointed Maria Herrera, Self-Help Enterprises' Community Development Specialist, to the California Water Commission.  


Maria brings vast knowledge and experience working with rural communities on water issues and implementing new, safe water systems. Maria, who must also be confirmed by the state Senate, took the oath of office on March 16 which was administered by Paul Boyer, Self-Help Enterprises' Community Development Program Director. Read more about Maria and the importance of the Commissioner role here


Gary Reed, former Self-Help Enterprises Board member, was also appointed to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, where he has served since 2005.

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