Visalia neighborhood getting a makeover one rehabilitation project at a time

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Staying true to its name Self Help Enterprises has partnered with the city of Visalia to revitalize the oval neighborhood. (KFSN)

Staying true to its name Self Help Enterprises has partnered with the city of Visalia to revitalize the oval neighborhood.

The private non-profit does housing improvements for low-income families throughout the Central Valley. This project will be their first to assist formerly homeless people.

"Home ownership is a key part of neighborhoods assets, and it's those kinds of asset holders that make for good stable communities," said Tom Collishaw, President/CEO Self Help Enterprises.

Construction is sourced locally through city grants in addition to funds from S.H.E.

After 10 months of work, they did a grand reveal. Homeowners in the Oval neighborhood are already seeing a trickle effect when it comes to sprucing up the area.

"Place across the street has done a new driveway, lot of concrete, the place to the north redid their fence around the apartment complex," said Bill Huott, resident.

Huott has lived in his Strawberry Street home since 1987 and said the area is on the rebound.

Less than a week ago a man was shot and killed while riding his bike just two blocks away. Huott and hopes investments like this will change the neighborhood and deter crime.

"Crime likes to survive in an environment of blight and trash and debris. These kinds of environment invites less crime."

Visalia mayor Steve Nelsen said he hopes projects like this serve as a catalyst for both neighborhood improvements and future supportive housing partnerships.

"There's other parts of the city where we need to do the same thing to create that spark of a jewel that maybe the rest of the neighborhood takes hold, owns, and improves the situation."

Their next project is Highland Gardens rental complex south of Fairview-- 36 affordable units are set to open this October.
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