People’s Self-Help Housing Re-opens Neighborhood Learning Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –  

Santa Maria, CA, April 15, 2021 –  Throughout the winter People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH) has been renovating and enhancing their Learning Center at Los Adobes de Maria II, in Santa Maria. The space, located on Blosser Road and Boone Street in the west of the city, has traditionally been used throughout the year to provide after-school programming, distance-learning, and support for students pursuing higher education.

“We have been working hard to upgrade this space so it can continue to serve and inspire our students,” said PSHH Director of Education, Joanna Dominguez. “As we begin transitioning back to in-person learning, we felt it was important to make these much-needed renovations, so we have the space and facilities to administer our program successfully.”

The Learning Center renovations were made possible by a generous Community Development Block Grant by the City of Santa Maria. This $245,000 grant allowed PSHH to upgrade the building’s interior flooring, lighting, cabinets, appliances, and restrooms, and make much-needed repairs and additions to the 17-year-old exterior. The grant also covered the cost of an accessible new play structure for students to enjoy and all-important shaded areas.

“It is so important to invest in education for the next generation,” Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino said. “My thanks to the many people who made this happen. There are so many individuals and families who rely on Los Adobes de Maria, which is a valued part of our community.”

Camino Scholars, PSHH’s nationally recognized education program, has been serving hundreds of students this past year using a hybrid learning curriculum. During this time, students have shown marked improvements in their reading skills and improvements in math have been in some cases, over 60%.  Students have benefitted from small learning cohorts, supported by in-person instruction personalized to their individual needs, at specially developed Academic Support Centers.

PSHH educators have continued providing free programming and services for students year-round, including all school breaks. They have also been able to develop numerous partnerships with local school districts in an effort to broaden access to students who may not live onsite. Educators have also developed mental health workshops for parents, which provide actionable tools to manage their stress related to Covid-19 and virtual learning.

Under regular circumstance, Camino Scholars serves over 400 students per year at its 11 onsite learning centers which are located throughout three counties. As evidenced by standardized test scores, the curriculum significantly improves math and literacy skills and accompanies students on the path of lifelong learning. The program also helps prepare college-bound students with application assistance, financial aid navigation, career exploration workshops, campus visits, and mentorship.  This relationship continues through graduation of the terminal degree; the program just saw its first student enrolled in Ph D. studies.

To learn more about Camino Scholars, visit pshhc.org/education.

About People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH)

Founded in 1970, PSHH is the longest-serving nonprofit affordable housing organization on the Central Coast. With a mission of building homes and providing services to strengthen communities and change lives, PSHH serves low-income households, working families, seniors, veterans, farmworkers, those living with disabilities and the formerly homeless. It also provides homeownership opportunities through a self-help, “sweat equity” program that has seen over 1,200 homes successfully completed. PSHH has a presence in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Monterey counties, manages over 2,000 rental units, and employs over 200 staff members. For more information, visit pshhc.org, email info@pshhc.org or phone (805) 781-3088.

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Media Contact: communications@pshhc.org, (805) 878-8328

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