Peoples' Self-Help Housing

Chris Davis

Peoples' Self-Help Housing Adds Student Education Component at Three Santa Barbara Area Apartments

Young Dynamic Trio Leads Effort

Santa Barbara, CA—Peoples' Self Help Housing (PSHH) the local nonprofit organization dedicated to providing affordable housing for over 30 years in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura Counties, has formalized its education program at three local apartment complexes. Serving hundreds of low income tenant families in Santa Barbara County, many who speak Spanish as their primary language, PSHH has established the After School Education Enhancement Program as a component of its Health and Community Services.

The program is currently up and running at three local PSHH apartment sites including; Dahlia Court Apartments, Carpinteria, Ladera Street Apartments, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria Camper Park, Carpinteria-bringing educational and tutoring to nearly 100 K-12 students. Students meet with program coordinators and volunteer tutors for five hours each week. The focus of the program is on homework assistance and encouraging students to develop better study habits. Program coordinators serve as a bridge between the school/teachers and the home by educating and involving parents in the schooling process of their children. In addition, the program also offers career counseling to high school students who are planning to apply to a community college or to a four year university.

The year-round program also provides education activities beyond the classroom with day trip excursions to estuaries and preserves, museums, community libraries, and other resource centers.

Student interns from Santa Barbara City College, professionals, and senior citizens serve as tutors for the program. Partnerships which help support the program include the McCune Foundation, the Orfalea Foundation, the Santa Barbara Foundation, the Rotary Club of Carpinteria, Child Abuse Listening & Mediation, Kiwanis of Santa Barbara, Kiwanis Suburban, and the Santa Barbara County Library.

Three energetic education coordinators, with diverse cultural and work experience, have been assigned to run the intensive and fun program at the three of Peoples' Self-Help Housing. They include:

Carmen Lozano graduated from UCSB with a MA in Latin and Iberian studies, with an emphasis in Cultural Studies and Immigration. She earned her BA in English and Linguistics. She also taught Spanish at UCSB and currently teaches Spanish at Santa Barbara City College. Lozano is a native of Guadalajara, Spain.
Grant Sullivan previously taught ESL in Mexico, was a substitute teacher for both Carpinteria and Santa Barbara School Districts, and coached wresting at Dos Pueblos High School. He graduated from UCSB in 2000 with a degree in Chicano Studies and is fluent in Spanish.
Michael Peyron taught Spanish for 2 years at UCSB. He also worked for Teach for America, a national nonprofit which places teachers in underserved areas of the US. He graduated from UCSB with a MA in Latin and Iberian studies.