Women Find Hope in Self-Help Housing

family standing next to home in alaska

Olivia Gamboa is new homes manager for Self-Help Enterprises (SHE) in Visalia, California, the longest running self-help program in the country. Says explains that during the last 30 plus years she has been employed with SHE, they have observed a steady increase in the number of women home builders. “Whether she is a single borrower or a borrower with five or six dependents, I see more women. In a group of, say, 10 or 12 families, about half will be women.” She adds that she also sees plenty of single men with children. Some are relieved to be free of bad marriages, others have remained single, but all have found themselves suddenly the head of household.

A Young Mother’s Story

Young moms often participate in the program because they know it is safe. When Liberty, a young mom-to-be, found out she was pregnant she knew it was time to turn her life around so she could provide for her new son. She started going to school and earning a steady income but had trouble finding a stable place to live. Then, she found the self-help program. She wasn’t sure if she would find enough time to participate, but thankfully she had family and friends to help watch her son while she did construction on her home. She successfully finished the program and moved into her home. She is now thankful to have a stable, secure home in which to raise her son.

The Story of a Mother with Adult Children

Veronica was in her 50’s with two adult children when she decided to take part in self-help. She was diagnosed with a rare disorder and multiple sclerosis during the build. This meant she was going to have to get more help from family, and thankfully her children were there to help. The home was completed and now her children know she is secure in her new home, and Veronica knows her children will always have a place to come back if they are in need.

Learn More

To learn more about Self-Help Enterprises, visit: http://selfhelphousingspotlight.org/self-help-enterprises/

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