Feature Story: Water for the Holidays
This Holiday season, Guillermo is hosting Christmas at his house. For many people hosting a holiday gathering can be quite overwhelming. But for Guillermo Lopez (34) and his mother, Andrea, having family over for Christmas is the most rewarding and long-awaited gift they could have ever received.

Guillermo lives along Daleville Avenue, an unincorporated neighborhood five miles south of Central Fresno, just south of Orange Center Elementary School. This community is home to approximately 200 families with median household incomes of roughly $30,000. “I’ve lived in this area my whole life,” Guillermo said. “I feel safe here; you never hear about people breaking into anyone’s house because we all watch out after each other.”

In the pre-drought years, this community was bursting with life and laughter as kids happily played in grassy front yards. Saturdays were filled with the familiar sounds of mowers as proud homeowners tended their landscapes. But one February afternoon in 2014, the water suddenly stopped flowing and things drastically changed. Guillermo’s family was among the thousands who were deeply affected by the drought. For an entire year, Guillermo and his mother were in complete survival mode driving to Fresno to buy water every 2 to 3 days, hauling home anywhere between six to ten 5-gallon water jugs each time. This was physically very strenuous for Guillermo considering he was left disabled after a battle with Valley Fever 15 years prior. “It was hard to adjust, but we had no other choice." Guillermo reflected. They quickly learned creative ways to leverage and conserve the water they bought, like using bath water to replenish their plants. “We used the same water that we showered with to water our plants. Now that we don’t have grass, we tried to keep a few plants in the front so that our house didn’t look completely dry.”

Guillermo is an “organic” community leader who genuinely cares about his neighbors. He is able to recognize an issue and take it upon himself to seek the necessary help. Read more.
"If it wasn't for Sue and Self-Help, I really think we would still be without water and struggling" - Guillermo Lopez
Board Member Highlights
Isabel Olmos has served as a Board Member for Self-Help Enterprises since 2003. Throughout the years, has served on numerous committees. She has been an employee at Family HealthCare Network (FHCN) for over nineteen years and is dedicated to promoting FHCN’s services and mission. Isabel comes from a low-income farm-worker background and knows firsthand how it is to work in the fields as well as the hardships and barriers farmworkers encounter. 
In addition to FHCN, Isabel is actively involved in her children’s activities and is also an active participant in her Church functions. Her faith and family commitment is reflected in her three children. She has taught them the importance of values and integrity. This commitment is shared in her interactions with co-workers and others.  
Duane Scott brings over 50 years of experience in public accounting. He first learned about Self-Help Enterprises when his firm served as the independent auditor for SHE in the early 1970’s through mid-1980’s. Duane officially joined the Board in 2010, and currently serves on the executive, audit and multi-family committee. Duane has been instrumental in helping numerous local nonprofits get started and is often sought out for his financial knowledge and guidance.

Duane is a strong believer in the mission of Self-Help Enterprises and its efforts to work with hard-working families to better their quality of life. In addition to SHE, Duane has served as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Visalia Rotary Community Foundation since its inception in 1994. He is a firm believer in their motto “Moving forward by giving back."
Rallying for Proposition 1 and 2
On October 23rd, Self-Help Enterprises joined C ouncilmember Esmeralda Soria, Councilmember Luis Chavez, League of California Cities,  Disabled American Veterans California, Habitat for Humanity Fresno County, and Fre sno Housing Authority to rally for Prop 1 and Prop 2 on California’s November ballot! The event took place on the steps of Fresno's City Hall.

Prop 1 - Veterans & Affordable Housing Act   will build and provide affordable housing for those hurting from California's affordable housing crisis, including veterans and families.  Prop 2 - No Place Like Home will help people who are experiencing homelessness and suffering from a serious mental illness get off the streets and into housing connected to treatment. H elp us bring affordable housing to your community. On election day, vote yes on Prop 1 and 2.
Room to Grow and Play in Wasco
For 4-year old Homero, a new self-help home means finally having his own room to play in. After many years of jumping around between relatives, Homero and his mom, Madelyn Sepulveda, 25, will soon have a home of their own. Madelyn is among the 10 proud participating families in the Wasco 13 project which is expected to conclude in January 2019. Wasco 13 is one of several active self-help home construction projects where eight to twelve families join together and agree to help each other build their houses with skilled onsite supervision and guidance of Self-Help Enterprises’ construction staff. The homes are built under the mutual self-help method of construction where each family is required to contribute a minimum of forty hours a week working on all the homes for a period of nine to twelve months.

Madelyn is actually very familiar with the self-help home program as her parents were participants back in 1994 (McFarland). She decided to apply to the program after her father encouraged her to do so. “Constructing the home has been both physically and mentally draining but I’ve learned so much, including how to use tools, some that I have never even heard of!” said Madelyn. Read more.
"Mom, I’m gonna have my own room!”
- Homero Sepulveda
Resident Services Activities
On October 6th, a group from the Rotary Youth Exchange Program came out to an active SHE construction site in Woodlake to volunteer their time and help families build their homes. There was a total of 12 youth from a wide range of international countries including France, Belgium and Spain, among others. This program is sponsored by various rotary chapters within the 5230 Rotary District, and aims to promote peace and inter-country understanding, while providing a challenging and enriching experience for selected student participants. 

If you would like to volunteer at one of our active construction sites, please contact Diana Diaz, Communications and Outreach Specialist for Self-Help Enterprises, at dianad@selfhelpenterprises.org.