A Statement from Tom Collishaw, CEO of Self-Help Enterprises:
In accordance with the Governor’s statewide shelter-in-place order, we have moved our operations off-site/ from home. This means that as of noon today March 20th, SHE offices will be closed to participants and the general public until further notice. Please see below for updates on what elements of our programs are operating normally and where we are adapting to current realities.
“Even in these difficult times, we are committed to continuing our mission of working together to build and sustain healthy homes and communities. We will pursue this work while prioritizing the health and safety of our staff and participants. If you don’t see our faces for the time being, know that we are continuing our essential work with energy and resolve.”
Staff can be reached at their direct phone number and email and general inquiries can be made at 559-651-1000.
Community Development: Community Development programs, including sewer, water and energy, continue operations with appropriate accommodations during the pandemic. All staff are working from home with remote access to files, and continue daily activities including coordination with funding agencies, project partners and community partners. To protect your health and safety, and that of our staff, we will not conduct door-to-door community outreach (including surveys), community meetings, or in-person application appointments until further notice. Instead, we will provide project updates and information by phone, email, mail and social media. We have conference lines available to facilitate teleconferencing of public meetings; please contact us if you need access to a conference line.
Unfortunately, there is a delay in scheduling for the upcoming Leadership Institute, more information here. Our commitment to serving our communities continues during this time. Please do not hesitate to contact us via the normal communication channels.
Self-Help Housing: At building sites, construction will continue in all areas where allowed by local health authorities. All participants and family volunteers are being educated on safe habits, including hand-washing, refraining from touching face, regular cleaning of commonly used objects (such as hand tools that are shared), and coughing/sneezing into the inside of elbows. Social distancing practices are being practiced on site, and people are being asked to stay home if they feel sick (particularly for the big 3 symptoms identified from the virus – fever, cough, or shortness of breath.)
Emergency Services Program: At the moment, our Emergency Services Program Team is only taking calls for folks needing emergency access to water. All other service calls, including water well assessment requests are on hold until further notice.
Real Estate Development: Real Estate Development has suspended all non-essential meetings and travel, but is proceeding with construction and development activities as planned. Projects under construction, including rehabilitation of units, is proceeding with precautions being implemented. We are available to participate in design meetings, engagement with local government partners, and other meetings via teleconference.
The Gateway Program: The Homeownership Counseling and Education Program is currently functioning as normal with all classes and one-on-one sessions via phone. We ask participants to submit documentation via upload to our website rather than mailing or emailing.
Volunteer Opportunities: We are not scheduling any new volunteers until further notice.
Drinking Water for Schools Program: DWFS SHE Program Staff encourages contracted schools to contact Vanessa Soto at email@example.com if they are concerned about meeting DWFS deadlines or regarding the feasibility of their projects amid COVID-19 closures.
Rehabilitation Program: Our Housing Rehabilitation Department has suspended all non-essential meetings and travel, but is proceeding with participant financing applications and construction activities as planned. Projects under construction, including rehabilitation of units, is proceeding with precautions being implemented.
Rental Housing Sites:
- Safe practices related to COVID-19 are posted in multiple areas at each site.
- Additional cleaning of open and communal spaces is being implemented, including playground equipment, computer labs, stairways and other common areas.
- Site managers remain on duty. Maintenance staff are still on duty facilitating necessary protocols to handle unit repair needs.
- Resident Communication – Site managers and SHE are providing communication in various forms to residents during this time. This includes emails, posted memos and phone calls to residents. We are responding to all supply requests from our residents.
- Afterschool programs have been suspended
- Head Start programs in Wasco and Madera will continue to operate.
- Computer labs remain open for individual resident and student needs.
- Community Centers are closed to all large gatherings. All partner programs and services are postponed.
- Health Services – Health services related to COVID-19 are allowed to take place at the sites.
- Housing Applications – Applications remain available at our sites. Site Managers can provide applications.