Search






Art and Essay Contest Celebrates Self-help Homeownership






Art and Essay Contest Celebrates Self-help Homeownership



Posted on August 25, 2015


As part of the celebration to honor the milestone of building 50,000 homes through the self-help housing program in 50 years, the National Rural Self-help Housing Association, in partnership with Self-Help Enterprises, invited families in self-help housing programs across the nation to participate in an art and essay contest to commemorate the occasion.

Esther Rivera, Jennifer Gordillo, Jose de Jesus Rivera, Miguel Carlos Avila and Yahir Alejandro Rivera Chavez, whose families built their home through Self-Help Enterprises, are amongst 18 artists who received a $50 reward for their submission and who had their art work and stories displayed at the 2015 National Self-Help Housing Conference held in San Antonio, Texas on July 21–23. The art and stories express the self-help housing experiences of the families and youth.

Fifteen-year-old Jose de Jesus Rivera, who lives in the self-help home built by his family in Goshen, CA, drew a picture of his new home and shared what his new home means to him: “I’m very happy to be in my new home because my dad and mom worked a lot for me and my brothers to have where to live. My puppy is also happy because the backyard is big and she has a lot of space. Now I also have my own room and my brothers have their own room”.

Drawing by Jose de Jesus Rivera who resides in Goshen.

Drawing by Jose de Jesus Rivera who resides in Goshen.

The parents of three-year-old Ayva Cuevas shared a touching story of the experience of building their home in Reedley, CA as told through the eyes of their daughter. It reads in part: “I remember missing my parents. They would leave really early to go build the house and come home really late, after they worked at their jobs. That year, we missed a lot of birthday parties, BBQs, and family functions, but in the end it was all worth it. I have my own house to grow up in and my parents actually built it”.

Story by the parents of Ayva Cuevas from Reedley.

Story by the parents of Ayva Cuevas from Reedley.

These stories and drawings are examples of the hard work and personal investment that families make to lay the foundation for a better future for their children.

The winners from across the nation, including the organization where they built their self-help home, are:

  • Yahir Alejandro Rivera Chavez, Goshen, CA – Self-Help Enterprises
  • Jose de Jesus Rivera Chavez, Goshen, CA – Self-Help Enterprises
  • Miguel Carlos Avila, Goshen, CA – Self-Help Enterprises
  • Ayva Cuevas, Reedley, CA – Self-Help Enterprises
  • Jennifer Gordillo, Reedley, CA – Self-Help Enterprises
  • Esther Rivera, Reedley, CA – Self-Help Enterprises
  • Christina Hernandez, Orland, CA – Community Housing Improvement Program
  • Phou Phouvankham, Orland, CA – Community Housing Improvement Program
  • Elizabeth Garibay, Orland, CA – Community Housing Improvement Program
  • Ana Delgado, Orland, CA – Community Housing Improvement Program
  • Laura Garcia, Mecca, CA – Coachella Valley Housing Coalition
  • Erika M. Ramirez, La Quinta, CA – Coachella Valley Housing Coalition
  • Elizabeth Garibay, Coachella, CA – Coachella Valley Housing Coalition
  • Mia Baxter, Ruskin, FL – Florida Home Partnership
  • Jennifer Fahrner, Hyde Park, UT – Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corporation
  • Jazlyn Lizama, Orland, CA – Community Housing Improvement Program
  • Destiny Beverly, Gate City, VA – Eastern Eight Community Development Corporation
  • Laraya Horsey, Dagsboro, DE – Milford Housing Development Corporation

Since 1965, Self-Help Enterprises has helped more than 6,100 families to build their own homes and achieve the American dream of homeownership. The single-family, energy-efficient homes are all built under the USDA Rural Development mutual self-help housing program, with homeowners providing over 70 percent of the construction labor.

Self-Help Enterprises’ emphasis on sustainable homeownership, an affordable mortgage, and the “sweat equity” down payment has resulted in successful homeownership for these hardworking families.

Yahir Alejandro Rivera Chavez - Goshen

Yahir Alejandro Rivera Chavez – Goshen

 

Miguel Carlos Avila - Goshen

Miguel Carlos Avila – Goshen

 

Jennifer Gordillo - Reedley

Jennifer Gordillo – Reedley

 

Jennifer Gordillo's story.

Jennifer Gordillo’s story for her drawing.

 

Esther Rivera - Reedley

Esther Rivera – Reedley