Staff Report


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