Working to help families impacted by drought
The San Joaquin Valley in California, known for its bountiful lands that produce a large portion of the country’s food supply, is experiencing the drastic effects of a worsening drought and record-breaking temperatures that have left many rural families with dry wells.
While many of us take for granted the ability to turn on our tap water without an ounce of worry, the sad reality for families with dry wells is that they are unable to cook, unable to feed their family, unable to bathe and carry on with basic hygiene necessities.
Since March 2021, Self-Help Enterprise’s Emergency Services drought response team has worked around the clock to address the influx of calls and emails from community members faced with drought devastation.
“It’s absolutely amazing and honestly we never thought there was an organization that would help us when our well went dry,” said Laurel Boylan, a water tank participant in Clovis, California.
“The past five years California has been rocked with devastation due to natural disasters, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tami McVay, SHE’s Assistant Program Director of Partner Services. “Our state funds for disaster response are limited. It’s vital to our economy and utterly important that private well owners have their wells inspected to ensure sustainability. For every dollar spent on preparedness, four dollars is saved in response. SHE is taking a proactive approach toward drought resiliency and climate change. Let us help you be prepared.”
Reflecting SHE’s mission to build and sustain healthy homes and communities, the Emergency Services team strives to support community sustainability by educating our most vulnerable populations about how to prepare for natural disasters such as drought, fire, flood, and earthquake. The program also helps families receive urgent access to clean water and help with water well replacement and water filtration services, as needed.
“During the previous severe drought cycle we earned our reputation as first responders, and we are embracing the same role with the help of key partners such as the State Water Resources Control Board,” said Tom Collishaw, CEO of Self-Help Enterprises. “While we feel better prepared this time round, I fear this may become our new normal.”
About Self-Help Enterprises
Formed in 1965, Self-Help Enterprises is a nationally recognized community development organization in the San Joaquin Valley whose mission is to work with low-income families to build and sustain healthy homes and communities. SHE’s work today encompass a range of efforts to build better homes and communities for farmworkers and hard-working families.
As of 2021, SHE had helped over 6,400 homeowners build their homes. SHE has also repaired over 6,700 homes and provided more than 15,300 individuals and families with homeownership education and counseling. Under the sustaining neighborhoods initiatives, SHE has assisted over 2,200 homeowners with buying a home on the open market, constructed nearly 2,000 multi-family affordable rental housing units, and provided over 33,000 families with safe drinking water and sanitary sewer infrastructure. In total, SHE has impacted the lives of more than 65,000 people.
The Praxis commitment
Praxis Mutual Funds supports organizations such as Self-Help Enterprises through investments in Calvert Impact Capital, an impact-investing institution that helps people around the world through community development financing. It’s part of the Praxis commitment to place approximately 1% of each of its funds to benefit neighborhoods and individuals through community development investments.