People’s Self-Help Housing Tours Former Owners at Guadalupe Court Apartments
In an emotional ceremony, People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH) welcomed the Villagomez Family to the new Guadalupe Court Apartments, the location of their former family home. The site located on the northern end of Guadalupe, has now become 38 affordable housing units for farmworkers and their families.
The afternoon event, which began at the community center, meandered along beautifully-landscaped pathways, took in the children’s playground, and concluded at a commemorative plaque. Attended by two generations of the Villagomez Family, travelling from throughout the state, the group and organization gathered to honor the memory of Villagomez matriarch ‘Esther’.
Reading from a letter sent by a family member which had inspired the tribute, PSHH CEO and President Ken Trigueiro shared with the assembled group that “Esther stayed here caring for the property...she liked field work because it was outdoors… Esther said she never wanted to do anything else”. Going on to laud her love of the land, but more importantly her love of the people who worked it, Trigueiro continued with “She may be looking down from heaven with a happy heart knowing that 38 families will live in comfort.”
The Villagomez Family, who have gone on to include social workers, educators, social justice advocates and members of the agricultural community in their number, gathered at the foot of the original palm tree which had stood on the land where their forebears had lived. Placed there is now a stone monument in recognition of the efforts of Esther, who with her open heart to all in need of a meal, a bed, and a roof over their head, showed empathy to anyone who struggled with housing.
As a small token of thanks to the Villagomez Family, who all shared their heartwarming memories of Esther, which included her love of roses which had once adorned the home, attendees were gifted rose bushes to commemorate and carry on her legacy.
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 [email protected] or phone (805) 781-3088.