On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, the Central Valley Community Foundation and its supporting organization, The Lyles Foundation, announced a major investment to support responsible, safe lending to disadvantaged communities in southeast Fresno and Porterville. Over $2.5 million in cash was deposited into yield-bearing money market accounts at Self-Help Federal Credit Union (SHFCU) in Fresno. The investment was announced during a check presentation held at the Self-Help Federal Credit Union’s Fresno office. Representatives from Self-Help Federal Credit Union and the Central Valley Community Foundation, as well as Fresno City Councilmember Luis Chavez (District 5), were in attendance.

Chartered in 2008, Self-Help Federal Credit Union is part of the Self-Help family of nonprofit organizations,
with the mission to create and protect ownership and economic opportunity for all,
especially people of color, women, rural residents, and low-wealth families and communities.

In 2015, Self-Help Federal partnered with the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (EOC) to open a full-service credit union in south Fresno. The Self-Help Federal Credit Union connects low-income residents with safe and affordable financial services. The credit union offers transnational services, credit union accounts, and loans that meet and reflect the needs of the community. The recent investment by the Central Valley Community Foundation and The Lyles Foundation will enable SHFCU branches in southeast Fresno and Porterville to expand lending services at reasonable rates to disadvantaged communities in the Central Valley. Based on SHFCU’s average loan sizes, this investment will provide enough capital to a diversity of borrowers to finance the equivalent of 19 affordable mortgages, 1,300 personal loans, 217 responsible car loans, or 3,642 credit-builder loans.

Fresno City Councilmember Luis Chavez (District 5) with representatives from the Central Valley Community Foundation,
The Lyles Foundation, and Self-Help Federal Credit Union.

“We are invested in solutions that build stronger communities and provide options that will help promote financial security,” said Ashley Swearengin, President and CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation. “We are very excited for this partnership, and we know this will create new economic opportunities for residents in Fresno and Porterville.” These funds will expand SHFCU’s already impressive impact in the Central Valley, where they have financed nearly 1,000 consumer and home loans totaling $31.87 million in Fresno, as well as nearly 2,000 consumer and home loans totaling $33 million in lending activity in Porterville. In just two short years, the credit union’s Fresno branch has built an active membership of nearly 1,300 members with over $8 million in deposits.

CVCF President and CEO Ashley Swearengin addresses the crowd at the check presentation on November 7, 2017.

Fresno City Councilmember Luis Chavez (District 5) addresses the crowd at the check presentation on November 7, 2017.

“We are committed to providing safe and affordable opportunities for low-income families,” said Joe Duran, Executive Vice President of SHFCU. “We believe if all people have access to services for responsible savings, loans, and transactions, then not only can we help improve the financial security of their families, but we can also increase the opportunities in our communities.”

SHFCU Executive Vice President Joe Duran addresses the crowd at the check presentation on November 7, 2017.

Union to expand vital financial lending services to disadvantaged communities in the Central Valley. We would like to thank The Lyles Foundation for helping to make this investment possible!