Doug's Grateful Heart
As Amy Collette once said, “Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” And that’s exactly how Doug Berard lives his life. Originally from North Fork, and a current resident of Fresno, Doug celebrates his newly rehabilitated bathroom thanks to the help of Self-Help Enterprises.

As he sits on his front porch with his furry companions, Doug, now in his sixties, happily reminisces about his younger days. Unbeknownst to many, young Doug lived a thrilling life as a Hollywood model, actor and dancer. “When volunteering at a baseball game, I met a woman who was a rep for a model agency. Right then and there, she asked if I could go with her to Las Vegas to represent her agency for a talent and modeling competition.” Doug not only won the competition but he was catapulted into a flourishing career in entertainment. “My life became very fast-paced, and for someone from North Fork, it was a big change. But I was grateful for it all.”

Doug went on to work as an actor and did small parts for nine movies. He was even part of a dating show where he met his then girlfriend. But then life took an unexpected turn. Click here to read more.
Partner Feature: Heron Foundation

For this month's Partner Feature, we would like to highlight the Heron Foundation. The Heron Foundation has invested in SHE's efforts to expand affordable housing opportunities in the San Joaquin Valley for years. Primarily they have done this through providing flexible funding that SHE can deploy in a variety of real estate developments to fill funding gaps and keep us nimble in responding to opportunities. Additionally, they have provided significant operating grants to SHE to allow us to build capacity, pursue strategic priorities, and support us during challenging times like 2020. Critically, they have recently made a sizeable donation ($150,000) to our Pandemic Relief Fund. This multi-layered approach makes Heron a truly mission-aligned partner to SHE.

“SHE is deeply embedded in the community and responsive to family needs to ensure successful home ownership. Their homes stand as living proof that, when given the opportunity, people can shape their own future.” – Dana Bezerra, President of the Heron Foundation 
Sugar Pine Village Groundbreaking
On October 5, 2020, SHE held a small groundbreaking for Sugar Pine Village, a new affordable housing community in Madera that will provide 52 high-quality, affordable apartment-style homes to the region. More than 30% of the new homes will be available for individuals and families struggling with housing insecurity and homelessness.
 
The community is located off State Highway 99 and convenient to grocery, retail stores, schools and public transportation. It will feature 20 one-, 16 two-and 16 three-bedroom apartments for residents earning between 15 and 60 percent of Area Median Income. Units will range from 720 square feet to 1,195 square feet. Rents will be set according to income, and will range between $168 -$1,012 per month. “Sugar Pine Village will bring much needed affordable housing to Madera that will help individuals and families in need with safe, quality, affordable housing” said Tom Collishaw. “We are proud to work together with Madera County Behavioral Health, and our other funding partners, who have stepped up during these difficult times to invest and support this development that will provide hope to so many for generations to come.”
 
Click here to read more.

Click here for photo gallery.
Big Wins

Prepare & Prevent Drive-Through Event

On October 15th, SHE hosted a successful drive-through event where Tulare County residents had the opportunity to safely learn about the five steps to emergency preparedness, pick up their free go-bag starter kit, and get their flu vaccine. This collaborative effort included the following partners: AmeriCorps, Community Services Employment Training (CSET), Family Health Care Network, Family Services of Tulare County and Tulare County Public Health. All together, these efforts impacted over 300 residents.

New CEQA Exemption

SHE celebrates the establishment of a new CEQA exemption that will expedite and reduce costs for small drinking water projects. SB 974 (Hurtado) creates a new statutory exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act for drinking water projects that benefit disadvantaged communities and schools. The exemption affirms the Human Right to Water in California, and supports the goals of CEQA by restricting the exemption to projects of a certain size and benefit, and that don’t impact sensitive habitat and other resources. SHE staff worked hard alongside our co-sponsor RCAC and with the dedicated staff of Senator Melissa Hurtado’s office to carry this important legislation through a very unusual legislative year. We appreciate their efforts and the support of many community partners.  
Upcoming Virtual Events & Activities
A great way to learn about our First-Time Homebuyer Program and the CalFHA ADU program. Tune in on November 11, 2020 at 6pm via our FB page.
A fun event to get the community thinking of emergency preparation. Save the date for November 28, 2020. More information to come.