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May Newsletter - In This Issue
Self-Help Enterprises partnered with Dignity Health to offer diabetes management workshops at two of our apartment rental communities - Almond Court in Wasco and Solinas Village in McFarland. Participants met once a week for six weeks to learn healthy eating, menu planning, techniques that help deal with the symptoms of diabetes, exercises for maintaining and improving endurance, and appropriate use of diabetes medications. Participants received a certificate after successfully completing the program.
Self-Help Enterprises awarded $5,000 in scholarship awards to six local students in recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement. Two students received $1,000 scholarships and four students received $750 scholarships.

One standout student is Mercedes Rosales (pictured below) who received a $1,000 scholarship. Mercedes' family purchased a home in Exeter after participating in the Gateway Housing Counseling and Education program. She graduated with honors from Fresno State where she studied sociology and will be pursuing her Master's Degree with the goal of becoming an academic advisor/school counselor.

Jessica Romero (pictured below with Board member Gary Rodriguez) is a $750 scholarship recipient who lives at Sunrise Villa Apartments with her parents and two siblings. She will graduate from Wasco High School and will attend Bakersfield College with the goal of achieving her bachelor's degree and becoming a nurse.

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 families who have participated in one of Self-Help Enterprises' programs to further their education. This competitive scholarship is available to students who enroll full-time in a vocational or trade school, community college or four-year university. The students were selected by Self-Help Enterprises' Board of Directors based on academic merit and commitment to community service.
"Self-Help Enterprises is proud to award these scholarships to students in the communities we serve," said Tom Collishaw, CEO of Self-Help Enterprises. "We applaud their achievements and are honored to support the next generation of leaders in their pursuit of higher education."

The Doris "Do" Dooley Scholarship is possible because of the vision and generosity of many people including the Dooley family. Since 1997, Self-Help Enterprises has awarded 123 scholarships totaling $98,750 to deserving students.
Recognizing that building partnerships is one of the most effective ways to bring about lasting change,  JP Morgan Chase, NeighborWorks America, and Self-Help Enterprises have partnered for a free training opportunity to learn community building techniques.
Learn about community-wide collaborations that bring all sectors of the public and private community together as well as tools for sharing resources, managing information, developing human capital and facilitating community empowerment. Identify ways to reconcile conflict, create win-win collaborative relationships and develop comprehensive strategies for soliciting partnership opportunities in your community.

Date: June 19 - 20, 2018
Time: 9 am to 4 pm
Location: Self-Help Enterprises - 8445 W. Elowin Court, Visalia
Cost: FREE

Course: CB140 Strong Coalitions: Building on Common Interests
Registration deadline: June 5, 2018
Code: PBTChase7

Registration Instructions:
  • First time users will need to create an account. Click on Create Account or Sign-In on the upper right side of the page.
  • If you create an account and cannot find the event, return to this invitation and click on the link.
  • On the event page, click on the Continue to Register button. If you have not created an account or you are not signed in, you will need to do so in order to register.
  • Click on the Register Now button.
Seating is limited.  Lunch each day, as well as coffee, tea, and water will be provided. Travel expenses are not covered.

We extend a big thank you to our five retiring Board Members - Ralph Rosedale, Gary Rodriguez, Bob Friesen, Ray Chavez, and Yolanda Gonzales - for the time and dedication spent during their tenure on our Board of Directors. With a combined 117 years of service, they offered a rich perspective on serving families in the San Joaquin Valley. 

Ralph Rosedale - 12 Years
Ralph holds a special place in the organization's history as an incorporator and founding Board Member. When Ralph reconnected with Self-Help Enterprises about ten years ago, it was for a specific reason - he was helping a disadvantaged community in East Texas start a self-help housing program. Above all, Ralph wanted to be useful, and he truly was, finding properties, introducing the organization to key contacts for such things as  water well sites or water deliveries during the drought.

Gary Rodriguez - 23 Years
Gary came to Self-Help Enterprises' Board after our Community Development staff encountered him doing community work in South Shafter. Gary saw his service as advocating for interests of Kern County and took a special interest in affordable rental housing. As Board Chair, Gary represented Self-Help Enterprises at numerous gatherings, and he was a regular at National Council of La Raza (now Unidos US) gatherings. As an educator by profession, Gary has always been a preacher about how good housing affects children and their opportunities to learn and succeed, bringing that sensibility to his leadership on the Board.

Pictured left to right: Self-Help Enterprises' Retiring Board Members 
Gary Rodriguez, Ralph Rosedale, Bob Friesen, and Ray Chavez.

Bob Friesen - 28 Years
As a career housing professional, Bob came to the Board ready to engage in every discussion about the direction of the organization. As  the resident housing expert on the Board, other members regularly depended upon his expertise for their decision making on a variety of housing and organizational governance issues. As a proponent of Self-Help Enterprises expanding its role in rental housing in the 1990s, Bob is credited with supporting building a neighborhood at rental properties that was similar to that of our self-help housing program.  Bob also served as Board Chair and represented Self-Help Enterprises in many venues. 
Ray Chavez - 36 Years
Ray is among our longest serving Board Members and the resident historian of the organization. Ray has been a champion of the Doris "Do" Dooley Scholarship Fund, led the Nominating Committee for years, and been a central member of the San Joaquin Valley Housing Collaborative. He served as Board Chair and on every subcommittee of the Board, and when Ray signs up, he always takes the role seriously and puts in the time. Ray's legacy will be with us forever.

Yolanda Gonzales - 20+ Years
During Yolanda's time on the Board, she served for many years as an important voice on the nomination and scholarship committees. In the 1960s Yolanda's parents built their own home through our Self-Help Housing Program. Yolanda remembers watching her parents work hard to build their home, a home that served as a foundation to a better future for her and her family. Yolanda translated this personal experience into effective advocacy for families we serve as a Board Member of Self-Help Enterprises.

Pictured left to right: T om Collishaw, Self-Help Enterprises' CEO and President; Yolanda  Gonzales, Retiring Board Member; Susan Zachary-Kreps, Board Chair.
After twelve months of construction and hard work, ten families came together to celebrate the completion of their new homes in the rural Kern County community of Wasco.
Among the group is Edgar and Isabel Cedillo (pictured left) who achieved what for many families is a lifetime goal - owning their own home. The Cedillos previously rented a room in Bakersfield from Edgar's parents and today are proud homeowners of a four-bedroom home. "This program gave us the opportunity to have our own home and now we get to start our family", said Isabel.

As part of the Mutual Self-Help Housing program, the families worked together on nearly every aspect of the homes - from pouring foundations to framing walls - with direction from an onsite construction supervisor. Each homeowner contributes a minimum of forty hours per week (over sixty-five percent of the construction labor) constructing their own homes and those of their neighbors. These labor hours, known as "sweat equity", are used as the down payment on their new home, resulting in affordable monthly payments with assistance from low-interest mortgage financing through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

During the construction phase, participants learned a variety of construction skills. "The process was rewarding, but we had to overcome some challenges", said Isabel. "I've never done construction work. Now, I know how to work on electrical." Edgar shared, "My wife and I also had to balance building with our full-time jobs, but we did it and accomplished something incredible."

The energy-efficient three- and four-bedroom homes range from 1,210 to 1,361 square feet and feature two baths, covered patios, and two-car garages.

This recent group of families is the second of three groups in the Wasco subdivision located on Ventura Court and Solano Street. The completion of the ten homes brings a total of 123 homes to Wasco since the first self-help houses were constructed in 1971. The first ten families completed and occupied their homes in November 2017 and the final group is expected to be completed later this year.
We 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.
We're also 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.