August 2004

Press Contacts:
Chris Davis / Sarah Bockhold

Local Foundations Recognize Link Between "Housing" and Education with Recent Grants

Peoples' Self-Help Housing's Education Enhancement Program Gets a Boost

Santa Barbara, CA, August 26, 2004—Three Santa Barbara based foundations are supporting cutting-edge education programs at Peoples' Self-Help Housing (PSHH) apartment learning centers. The three foundations include the McCune Foundation, the Wharton Foundation and the Santa Barbara Foundation. The Santa Barbara Foundation grant is specifically designated to expand services for Los Adobes de Maria II, a large farm worker affordable housing complex in Santa Maria.

Serving hundreds of low-income K-12 students in Santa Barbara County, many from Spanish speaking households, PSHH established the Education Enhancement Program as a component of its resident support services, which also include health education and onsite clinics.

Peoples' Self-Help Housing currently operates the Education Enhancement program at four local apartment sites including; Carpinteria Dahlia Court, the Carpinteria Camper Park, Ladera Street Apartments in Santa Barbara, and the Los Adobes de Maria II apartments in Santa Maria. Students attend classes 5 days per week. The focus of the program is to improve individual student's grades, develop better study habits, and involve the parents in their children's academic endeavors. Individual testing and assessments at the beginning and end of each semester tracks the progress of each student. PSHH educators serve as a bridge between the school and families by involving parents in the process. Educators accompany parents to parent teacher conferences, and encourage parents to volunteer in learning center activities. In addition, the program also offers career counseling to high school students who are planning to apply to a community college or 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. Science, math, reading and literacy are the focus of the curriculum.

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

"We are glad to see that these important local foundations are seeing the connection between housing, quality education and healthcare," said Jeanette Duncan, Executive Director, Peoples' Self-Help Housing. "Bringing additional education support to underserved children is one of the most critical needs in Santa Barbara County."

Peoples' Self-Help Housing is an award winning non-profit organization with over 30 years of experience developing housing for low-income and special needs households on California's Central Coast (Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura Counties). PSHH also provides assistance in the design and implementation of community development programs for numerous cities, counties and community groups.