Tom's Take: Election Victories
Californians affirmed their support for efforts to address the state’s burgeoning housing crisis at the ballot box on November 6 by handily passing Propositions 1 and 2. For supporters of Self-Help Enterprises, we hope that our endorsement of these initiatives helped make this an easy “yes” for you. Our pipeline of affordable housing projects is full, and new resources from Prop 1 and 2 will enable us to move forward into construction at sites throughout the San Joaquin Valley.

While we want to express our heartfelt thanks to all of those who supported these measures, there remains work to be done convincing people that the need in the valley requires more resources to address the problem. Sadly, none of the eight counties in which SHE works topped 50% support for Prop 1. Despite lackluster local support for the housing bond, we pledge to make sure the valley gets its share of funding….and continue to advocate for the valley at the state level.

We celebrate these victories and look forward to providing housing opportunities for San Joaquin Valley residents in need of quality housing they can afford.
Grand Opening of Palm Terrace Apartments Offers a Hopeful Future for the Cisneros' Children
On November 13, Self-Help Enterprises (SHE) held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the grand opening of the Palm Terrace apartments, a 50-unit affordable rental community located at 700 W. Hermosa St. in Lindsay. Palm Terrace offers permanent affordable rental housing to working people in Lindsay, and is located within walking distance of shopping, schools, and fresh food.
Originally from Tooleville, a small unincorporated community 7 miles north of Lindsay, Arlin Cisneros is one of fifty Palm Terrace beneficiaries. Arlin is also a proud single mother of four vibrant children, Clarissa (10), Alexandra (8), Fabian (5), and Damian (2). Like many of the families that go through SHE programs, Arlin’s journey to permanent and sustainable housing has not been an easy one. In fact, far from it. 
As a teen, Arlin frequently walked to school. It was during this time that she began experiencing unusual back pain. Unbeknownst to her, these early signs of pain would eventually become a debilitating condition. The pain worsened and by the time Arlin was pregnant with her last child, she was bedridden and partially paralyzed. Today, she suffers from arthritis on the entire left side of her back, a damaged sciatic nerve and a damaged disc in her spine. Doctors do not know the exact cause of her condition, but suspect she could have been born this way. Nevertheless, Arlin’s chronic back pain has limited her from living a completely normal life. She is unable to carry more than 20 pounds and cannot sit or stand for a long period before her pain flares up to the point of immobility. She is therefore unable to secure a stable job flexible enough to accommodate her disability, and consequently has struggled in the past to provide for her children. “Because of my back pain, it has been very hard to find a stable job,” said Arlin. “That is why I work seasonally in the grape harvest to be able to provide for my family. And still, many times the pain gets unbearable, but I push through.” When she is not working in the grape harvest, Arlin takes small housekeeping jobs to make ends meet. 
"In the other place, we had to go outside the apartments and sit in this big rock to get the internet from the school to finish our homework." - Alexandra
Community Development Activities
Yoneo Ono Award Recipient
Congratulations to Isabel Solorio, recipient of the 2018 Yoneo Ono Award! The RCAC (Rural Community Assistance Corporation) Yoneo Ono Award honors rural people who have made significant lifelong contributions to their community in volunteer capacities. Isabel is a dedicated leader who has worked with SHE to advocate for clean drinking water in her community. Recently, Isabel applied and was appointed to the Rural Communities Advisory Committee for the North Fork Kings Ground Water Sustainability Agency (NFKGSA). In that role, she will be ensuring that the rural communities in the NFKGSA have a voice in the decisions that are made in groundwater management.  Click here to read more .
Nitrate Testing Program
Residents who rely on private water wells as their primary source of drinking water may be consuming water with contaminants such as nitrates. SHE has extended a free nitrate testing program to help low-income residents in the Porterville area learn about their water quality and the risks of consuming contaminated water. Interim drinking water supplies will be provided at no cost for qualified households that are tested and found to have a nitrate exceedance. Participation forms are available at the  Porterville Family HealthCare Network clinic Porterville Community Services and Employment Training office , and the  Porterville Area Coordinating Council office . Appointments can also be scheduled with SHE by calling (559) 802-1678. Click here to read more.
Resident Services Activities
Annual Holiday Meals
On Wednesday November 21st, SHE staff and partner organizations like the Visalia Latino Rotary and Family HealthCare Network joined together to provide over 100 meal baskets to families in need . The meal baskets included a turkey or ham, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and other traditional side items. The meals benefited families from various SHE rental properties in the Visalia and Goshen area, along with families through Community Services Employment Training, House of Hope and a Combat Veteran's Hope. In addition, SHE teamed up with Madera Star 399, a motorcycle association service club to provide 56 holiday meals to every family at Casas de La Vina rental housing site.
Pumpkin Party
Young residents and their families of the Highland Gardens apartments in Visalia enjoyed a day of silliness and fun at this year's Pumpkin Party. Led by SHE staff, activities included painting and decorating pumpkins with masks and googly eyes. A total of 30 children participated in the event, although many of their families join them. To add to the pumpkin theme, families also enjoyed some delicious pumpkin pie. A now annual event, the Pumpkin Party provides young residents with the opportunity to express their creativity and craftiness. Special thanks to Wal-Mart for providing 60 discounted pumpkins.