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November, 2016 - In This Issue
Members from the local Madera Star 399 Chapter "Sierra Riders" donated Thanksgiving food baskets to two deserving families who reside at Self-Help Enterprises' Casas de la Vina and Villa del Rey apartment rental communities.
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  Self-Help Housing Program Manager responsible for recruitment and financing activities of the mutual self-help housing program; and multiple Community Development Specialist positions responsible for helping rural communities in obtaining safe drinking water and sanitary disposal systems.

Twenty-nine community leaders from Kern County to Merced graduated from the Water Boards Leadership Institute. During the six-month training, which took place from June to November, community leaders learned skills and tools to become more intentional, effective, and energized leaders. 

This included learning technical elements of how water boards function and the benefits of a regional perspective of water management, importance of regional solutions, leveraging the resources of  each community to develop new projects and programs, storytelling, and public speaking. Participants also learned about the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) that aims to empower local agencies to develop groundwater management plans that are tailored to the resources and needs of their communities. 

In the past, Disadvantaged Communities (DACs) and small water systems have not always been included in regional water management  conversations. However, this is changing with SGMA, and the training helps community leaders bring their unique perspectives and contribute to the conversation to develop new projects that address their water challenges.  

Watch this video to hear what the graduates have to say about the training.  The Water Boards Leadership Institute was a joint effort between Self-Help Enterprises and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation. 
Self-Help Enterprises and the City of Visalia held a ribbon cutting on November 15 to celebrate the opening of the Highland Gardens apartment rental community. Highland Gardens, the first rental project in Visalia for Self-Help Enterprises, brings affordable housing to the community.  
Highland Gardens features 36 two- and three-bedroom apartments as well as a half-court basketball court, playground, community center, and community garden where residents can grow fruits and vegetables. 

The community center provides a location to conduct after-school programs, ESL classes, and financial literacy workshops, among other resident services. In conjunction with the community garden, Self-Help Enterprises will coordinate other health education opportunities on-site, including Zumba, prevention screenings, and healthy cooking classes.

Highland Gardens also features green building practices designed to foster a sustainable future for the residents and community. Green features include Energy Star® appliances, solar PV, water conservation components, and solar carports that will generate renewable energy, lowering utility costs for residents and providing shaded parking.

The design of Highland Gardens, located between Riggin and Ferguson Avenues, minimizes the need for motorized transportation. Key services and amenities are located within walking distance, including Fairview Elementary School, Fairview Village Park, Visalia Health Care Center, Food 4 Less and Vallarta supermarkets, bus lines, and pharmacies.

By offering low monthly rents ranging from $366 to $830, Self-Help Enterprises and the City of Visalia are providing an affordable housing opportunity that will serve the needs of hardworking, low-income families. 

For the Martins family, living at Highland Gardens means a bright future and an apartment to be proud of.  "We can't wait to move in this weekend, before the holidays" Crystal Martins said. "To have family over to show them everything, our new place. It's going to be great to share it with everybody."

To apply for an apartment, families can call 559-651-2579.  Highland Gardens is among 28 affordable apartment rental communities operated by Self-Help Enterprises throughout eight counties in the San Joaquin Valley. 
The Viscaya Gardens apartment rental community in Dinuba is hosting the Yo D igo Si! (I say yes!) Program, which promotes healthy eating and physical activity for individuals who are at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. The program, held in partnership with Tulare Health and Human Services (HHSA), consists of a group of 14 individuals who are making lifestyle changes with guidance from Maria Flores, Health Education Specialist from Tulare HHSA to prevent or delay the onset of the disease.
Open to the entire Dinuba community, Yo Digo Si! is part of a state-wide initiative known as "Lifetime of Wellness: Communities in Action" to improve Californians' health and reduce health inequalities. The classes are facilitated by lifestyle coaches trained by Emory University's Diabetes Training and Technical Assistance Center (DTTAC). To join, one must be 18 years or older, have a previous diagnosis of prediabetes or history of gestational diabetes, score at least a 9 on the Center for Disease (CDC) Diabetes Risk Test, or be referred by a medical provider. 

Health Education Specialist Maria Flores is pleased with the progress of the group. She states, "I'm amazed by the commitment all participants have made and the results are proof of their commitment to making a positive change in their lives." She highlighted two participants, Erasmo and Blanca. "Mr. Erasmo has lost a total of 19 pounds; his weight loss has been due to both exercise and healthier eating habits. Ms. Blanca has lost 10 pounds; her weight loss has been a result of exercise, and keeping track of her caloric intake. Both are very proud of their achievement thus far and continue to attend class regularly." As part of the program, Maria encourages participants to attend free Zumba classes held after the class at Viscaya Gardens. 

Tulare Health and Human Services will begin a second cohort January 19, 2017 from 4 pm to 5pm at Viscaya Gardens in Dinuba. All Dinuba residents are welcome to attend if they meet the criteria for the program. For more information, please contact Maria Flores (559) 624-8483 or Roberto Garcia (559) 802-1619.

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8445 W. Elowin Court, Visalia, CA 93291
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