Community Independence Initiative promotes resiliency and economic mobility

CENTRAL COAST — People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH) has received a generous gift of $15,000 from Mechanics Bank, which will support PSHH’s newest program: The Community Independence Initiative.

Inspired by the decades-long work of poverty activist, social entrepreneur and author, Dr. Mauricio Miller, the Community Independence Initiative (CII) is a pilot program unlike anything previously offered in the region. Participants engage in personal development, financial education, and community-building, all aimed at promoting upward mobility.

“We are so grateful to Mechanics Bank for their sustained support in moving our mission forward through this innovative new program,” said Ken Trigueiro, PSHH CEO and President. “This gift will allow us to better support our residents throughout the Central Coast.”


With 20 PSHH households selected to participate in the first cohort, this project was launched to help families disproportionately affected by the pandemic to build economic resiliency, ultimately lifting them out of poverty. The program is member led with participants paid monthly stipends for their attendance, journaling, and input. The data gathered during the program helps inform future cycles and drives decisions as to future microenterprises to invest in.

To learn more about People’s Self-Help Housing and the Community Independence Initiative, visit

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. PSHH acknowledges the indigenous people of the territories that our organization occupies, including the Chumash, Salinan, Yokuts, Kitanemuk, and Tataviam people. To read the full land acknowledgement, visit For more information about the organization, visit, email or phone (805) 781-3088.