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DWR Awards $25 Million in LandFlex Grants to Protect Drinking Water Wells

Big plans for housing

This is why we can’t dismiss water scarcity in the US

Ground zero: Rain brings little relief to California’s depleted groundwater

Porterville extends temporary water aid to outlying areas


COVID-19 Payment Assistance

Homeowner & Renter Information

COVID-19 Farm Worker Assistance Resource

Leadership Institute Spring Registration is Now Open!

Rural community water board members and staff, water leaders, residents, local governance, and regional water management agency staff are invited to participate in the NEW 2023 Rural Communities Water Managers Leadership Institute hosted by Self-Help Enterprises.

The three-month Institute consists of classroom presentations, interactive dialogue, activity-based learning, and a two-day tour of the Kings River watershed. This year’s Leadership Institute offers rural community leaders and regional water management agency staff a long-awaited, unique opportunity to talk with, listen to, and learn from one another.  

"It enriched me personally,” said Estela Bustamante, a recent participant from Planada. “It’s easy to take where our water comes from for granted when all you need to do is turn on the faucet. I didn’t realize how much there was to know about our water systems. Whatever stage in life you are, it’s never too late to learn something new.” Learn More and Register Today!

Investment in Lamont's Water Security and Future

On February 13th, local water leaders and community members gathered to celebrate the announcement of a historic $25.5 million grant for the Lamont Public Utility District (LPUD) by the state’s Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience (SAFER) program. No other small water district has received a grant this large. For over ten years, the LPUD had been working on consolidating a mutual water district and replacing three failing wells in their service area. “Lamont is a severely disadvantaged community, and as such, state funding is critical for its clean, safe drinking water and the survival of approximately 20,000 Hispanic farm workers,” said LPUD General Manager Scott Taylor.  

The Lamont PUD sought help from local, County, and State resources for this project. SHE’s Community Development (CD) team was up for the task. They partnered with the LPUD and the State Water Board to provide technical assistance. Together, they set goals and plans to make the project possible.  

During the press conference, Scott Taylor noted that this grant will be an investment in the lives of community members and their children’s futures by providing access to clean water for 50-60 years! A Lamont PUD Board member also discussed how this investment will make Lamont stronger and healthier—families and businesses will feel safe growing here because there’s clean water.  

“That, in particular, got me teary-eyed,” said Melissa Bergen, SHE Community Development Specialist. “I grew up on a private well in a rural community, and I know firsthand that lack of access to water changes the investment people can make in communities. I am thrilled for Lamont and celebrating the work of Lamont PUD’s Board and staff advocating for their community!” 

Housing Repairs for Falcon Household and Family

When Norma Falcon first applied to SHE’s Rehabilitation Program, her priority was helping her mom receive assistance to repair her deteriorating home in Sanger. Since her dad passed away two years ago from COVID, Norma and her siblings have taken care of their mom together. “Her home was totally destroyed,” said Norma. “The foundation was off, and nothing was working right.”  

During the application process, Norma mentioned that her home in Parlier also needed repairs. Her bathroom, in particular, had holes in the back of the sink, growing mold, and a bathtub that had become dangerous to get into due to Norma’s back problems. It was then that Irma Wheeler, SHE’s Housing Rehab Project Technician, suggested she also apply for assistance with her own home’s repairs.  

Although applying for assistance for separate homes located in two cities seemed daunting at first, Norma was able to secure repairs for her bathroom and also the reconstruction of her mom’s home. “Irma is the best, she’s the one that told me, ‘I’m going to ask you for a lot of stuff, but don’t lose hope, just keep bringing the documents to me, and we’ll get through it,’” said Norma. “She explained everything so perfectly.” 

Norma’s bathroom is now completely rehabilitated with full accessibility modifications, including replacing her bathtub with a shower unit, a new comfort height toilet, new flooring, and hardware throughout. “I let everybody see my bathroom now,” said Norma. “I can finally walk in with no problems.”  

Her mom’s house is also nearly finished with the reconstruction process. She will soon be able to move into a safer home with wheelchair-accessible features. Through their positive experience, Norma’s brother was also encouraged to apply to the program and was able to receive assistance to replace the roof of his Fresno home.  Read More

SHE's Community Development Manager Joins

SAFER Advisory Group

The State Water Board recently announced newly appointed Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience (SAFER) Advisory Group members. These include SHE’s Community Development Manager, Eva Dominguez, who will begin a two-year term as a Technical Assistance Provider.  

“I am excited for the opportunity to be part of the SAFER Advisory Group and provide input based on the many years of experience SHE has working alongside communities to resolve their drinking water issues,” said Eva.  

The SAFER program helps provide funding sources for various programs at the State Water Board. SHE’s Community Development and Emergency Services teams also receive funding from SAFER to help serve communities needing safe drinking water. The SAFER Advisory Group provides advice and feedback to the State Water Board on various SAFER programs. Its members come from different stakeholders across the State, including residents, public water system representatives, nongovernmental organizations, and technical assistance providers such as SHE.  

New appointments to the board also include Kristin Dobbin, who partnered with SHE to develop the Leadership Institute. Michael Prado, Sr., a long-time community partner from Sultana, was also reappointed. Congratulations to all the new members! 

More than $32 Million in Funding Awards to Support SHE's New Rental Housing Projects

On February 9th, SHE was officially awarded more than $32 million in funding via the new California Multifamily Finance Super Notice of Funding Availability (Super NOFA) Awards. Thanks to our partners at the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), we've received funding awards to begin constructing four new rental housing projects in the Central Valley! Once completed, the following projects will provide nearly 300 affordable rental units in Sanger, Oakhurst, Visalia, and Tulare communities.  

  • Cherry Crossing - 64 units in Sanger  
  • River Grove I – 70 units in Oakhurst  
  • Rancho Colegio – 80 units in Visalia  
  • Santa Fe Commons II - 57 units in Tulare  

“California continues to advance our commitment to building 2.5 million homes -- with one million affordable homes -- by 2030, as outlined in our Statewide Housing Plan,” said HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez.“ Our simple approach to funding helps us accelerate much-needed construction and ensure the lowest-income Californians have access to quality homes near jobs, transit, schools, and other necessities that will make our communities more inclusive for decades to come.”   

Exciting Career Opportunities

Check out all the other opportunities to join our team!
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