On Oct. 5, residents at Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation’s (CEDC) Meta Street, Villa Victoria, Wagon Wheel, and Paseo Del Rio/Paseo Santa Clara apartments in Oxnard were able to obtain free Halloween costumes, while sharing their favorite recipes with one another. Beth Parker, Cabrillo’s resident service coordinator, and Paseo Del Rio residents planned the potluck event. With the costumes donated by Party City of Oxnard, CEDC was able to distribute Halloween costume to nearly 70 children.
Oxnard native and AmeriCorps VIP member Jessica Rios has seen firsthand the challenge faced by residents with struggles like poverty, mental health, education, and public safety.
Rios said growing up in Oxnard has given her a unique understanding of these challenges and led her to volunteer as an Americorps VIP member. Rios works in Cabrillo’s Resident and Community Services Department.
Janice Aharon-Ezer, RCS director, said that from day one Rios has been an important part of the team. “Her scope while at CEDC is to bring on volunteers and build the department’s capacity and infrastructure for volunteerism,” Aharon-Ezer said. “She is doing a lot and we are very happy to have her.”
Rios has been making requests for donations that help defray program costs for homework clubs and special events. She also helps with new volunteer orientations and recruitment as well as administrative tasks such as creating fliers and putting together data for programs like Toys 4 Tots.
“I have the opportunity to give back to my community and gain the experience of working at a nonprofit organization,” Rios said. “Volunteerism, to me, is being able to give back to a community and individuals who need an extra helping hand to succeed. Volunteerism is being able to serve and see the impact you are making on someone’s future by simply giving your time and talent. It is important because, without a collective participation of individuals, change is not possible. With the help of volunteers, an organization can improve community life, affect someone’s future, and improve communities living conditions.”
AmeriCorps is a nationally recognized service that connects individuals with a unique site with the goal of “helping others and meeting critical needs in the community.”
The event honored the memory of Maria Hernandez, a Resident Coordinator Manager at CEDC who lost her battle with cancer earlier this year.
It was a special day for residents of Camino Gonzalez and Paseo De Luz, community members, CEDC staff, and numerous volunteers who came together to honor Hernandez.
Community members cooked and shard their favorite dishes. Children and volunteers helped plant trees, seeds, and bushes throughout the properties. Volunteers planted a special “Asian Citrus Psyllid” tree and placed a plaque to commemorate Hernandez’s dedication and love of Cabrillo tenants and communities.
The Hernandez family led in singing of Mexican folk songs during the event
Cabrillo collaborated with United Methodist Church, Promotoras y Promotores Foundation, and One Step A La Vez of Fillmore to present the Piru Family Day Health Fair July 22 at Valle Naranjal Apartments and the United Methodist Church.
The event featured 15 agencies providing resources and programs on health education, employment, and the community.
The day also included heart and diabetes screenings, a community walk and a variety of activities for children.
The highlight of Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation’s (CEDC) 35th anniversary was the gala on its incorporation day, Sept. 28, at The Tower Club in Oxnard. It was a night paying tribute to the organization’s rich history and mission of providing affordable housing and opportunities to those most in need in Ventura County.
The goal of the event was to commemorate the milestone, create awareness and raise needed funds for Cabrillo’s mission. The evening was a major success, raising nearly $140,000 for affordable housing, financial literacy education and counseling, and meaningful programs for the organization’s 4,000-plus low-income residents.
“It was a beautiful evening,” said Margarita H. de Escontrias, Cabrillo’s Chief Executive Officer. “It was not only a celebration of our 35th anniversary but an opportunity to recognize and pay respect to those that came before us.” The organization’s roots started in 1975, when farmworkers living at Cabrillo Village, a former farm labor camp in Saticoy, received eviction notices. Rather than lose their homes, the residents organized to form the Cabrillo Improvement Association in 1976. In 1981, the organization incorporated as CEDC.
Remarks From Cabrillo CEO Margarita H. de Escontrias“We are here tonight because it is personal. For me, I am here in memory of my ancestors, who were farmworkers from Yuma, Arizona, where my father was born. Their journey and mine were built around service to others. My mother was a domestic and my father spent his earlier years in the fields and later years in construction. The foundation, of course, was home, where everything begins.
As I drive to work I see the fields filled with workers who are harvesting or preparing dirt for harvest. I see the images of my parents, and those are the pictures that I carry in my heart. When I enter the doors at Cabrillo, I have to admit that I do offer up a prayer that I may continue to live a life of service for others, and I’m very humbled at the prospect.
As an heir of the Cabrillo legacy, we want to work hard to carry our progress and supportive
services to the next generation. I say it with love and sincerity that our staff, the work that they carry out every day, inspires me.
Thank you for your generous hearts, your contributions, and for celebrating with us.”
Community Development Awards
Cabrillo honored two community development professionals, Barbara Macri-Ortiz, a local attorney and housing rights advocate, and Jaime Bordenave, founder/president of The Communities Group and Cabrillo Improvement Associations first Executive Director
“I started on this path because of images of people getting evicted and living in substandard housing. We had to do something. We had to find housing that people could afford. You cannot treat people like that.
Growing up we didn’t have much in my family, but we had a home – safety, security, warmth, love – and it centered us. Some people today don’t know where they are going to sleep from one night to the next. It’s tragic.
One of the most moving experiences of my life was watching a big family pack up everything out of the garage they were living in and move into a four-bedroom apartment.”
Looking back at the history of the Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation (and its predecessor Cabrillo Improvement Association), as well as Cabrillo Village itself, the support of hundreds of staff, board members, supporting organizations and local governments, it is astounding.
The results are impressive: 32-plus major preservation and new development projects, over 2,000 homes, and thousands of program participants. It is a personal honor to have played a role for a short time at the beginning of the organization. Congratulations!”
Cabrillo Chief Executive Officer Margarita H. de Escontrias joins 13-year-old Darelli Estrellita Avila, as she entertains guests during the event. Classical guitarist, Carlos Gonzales, bottom left, serenaded attendees during dinner. Darelli, bottom right, sang throughout the cocktail hour.
Click the link for a video compilation of photos from Cabrillo’s 35th Anniversary Celebration.
VENTURA, California (Oct. 19, 2017) ― Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation will present a health fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 1, at the Santa Paulan Apartments, 115 N. Fourth St., in Santa Paula. The event is open to the public.
“We are pleased to offer the residents of the Santa Paulan Apartments and their surrounding community, a one-stop on-site morning of health care resources. We are grateful to our partners who will be part of this important day,” said Janice Aharon-Ezer, Director of Resident and Community Services at Cabrillo.
Cabrillo will collaborate with about 20 local providers, who will offer information on supplemental health plans for the open enrollment period, flu shots, veterans services, free food delivery service, caretaker services, information on the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging’ and mental health services. The event also will include health screenings such as glucose, blood pressure, bone density, and hearing, according to Cabrillo Resident and Community Serviced Coordinator Beth Parker.
“We would like to invite the entire community to the fair since these types of services and information can be beneficial to everyone,” she said. “This is our first event of this type in Santa Paula that I am aware of, and we are hoping for a large turnout.”
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has awarded Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation a $12,000 grant to support Cabrillo’s HomeOwnership Center’s financial literacy and homeownership programs.
The center offers foreclosure mitigation, pre- and post-purchase homebuyer education, and credit and counseling sessions to those interested in improving their economic situation. NeighborWorks certified and HUD-approved counselors provide all services in both Spanish and English.
A 2016 survey by NeighborWorks revealed 28 percent of adult Americans have no emergency savings in place; 25 percent of adults have only enough saved to get by for less than one month if they were to face a financial emergency; and 61 percent of adults do not follow a formal budget plan.
This underscores that millions of Americans are at financial risk, with the most vulnerable being those with lower incomes and people of color. As low/moderate income families are especially vulnerable, CEDC is a viable solution for financial coaching, said Cabrillo Development Specialist Angela Barosso.
“This grant will provide 400 low- to moderate-income families in Ventura County access to counseling services that will help them navigate the homeownership process,” said HomeOwnership Center Director, Omar Madrigal. “Pre-purchase workshops and group and individual counseling sessions examine the potential homebuyer’s personal and financial situation; details about house selection, the financing process, and the closing; and post-purchase concerns, such as home maintenance.”
Madrigal said he is grateful for the support Bank of America and its commitment to the community and Cabrillo.
“Providing support to organizations like Cabrillo Economic Development Corp, that are providing critical services and programs are just one of the ways we are helping improve the quality of life in the Communities we serve,” said Pamela Gabriel, Bank of America’s Suburban Market Project Manager for Enterprise Business & Community Engagement.
Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation has received grant funds from both the Wells Fargo Foundation and the MUFG Union Bank Foundation in support of its HomeOwnership Center, Resident and Community Services and predevelopment costs for the Etting Road Apartments project.
The $40,000 Financial Empowerment and Community Building Grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation will support Cabrillo’s NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Center with funds for pre- and post-purchase homeownership workshops; debt management and financial capabilities counseling; and foreclosure prevention.
“Wells Fargo’s support enables Cabrillo’s HomeOwnership Center to continue its counseling services and educational programs, which assists customers in purchasing their first home or preventing foreclosure in our communities,” said HomeOwnership Center Director, Omar Madrigal. Home ownership is the stepping-stone to creating wealth and produces financial opportunities for families whose economic choices would otherwise be limited or unachievable.
These funds also will support Resident and Community Services in expanding services, such as food distributions at additional farmworker properties, increasing the after-school Homework Clubs to two additional properties, plus the purchase of books, school supplies and snacks for the clubs.
“The Resident and Community Services Department hopes to use the grant to help expand the scope and quality of the existing homework clubs,” said Community and Resident Services Director Janice Aharon-Ezer. “Currently homework clubs are at four properties and the goal is to expand to a total of six properties. The plan is to enhance the curriculum so participating student residents can be provided with homework assistance, tutoring, mentoring, and have the opportunity to experience support and guidance to help them achieve academically.”
The MUFG Union Bank Foundation grant is a three-year grant totaling $45,000 ($15,000 each year for three years). These funds will assist with the Etting Road Apartments project, which is an All Affordable Housing Opportunities Program (AAHOP) project site in southeast Oxnard. Funds will be targeted to predevelopment costs, which include legal, engineering and other professional fees related to the feasibility of the project, such as contracting with a loan syndication consultant and commissioning marketing, biological and traffic studies. Cabrillo anticipates that the first year of funding from this grant will go toward the marketing study, financing/syndication consultant and some legal fees.
“The hourly wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Ventura County is $33.88 per hour, but area renters average only $16.98 per hour. Essential workers, like firefighters, farmworkers, teachers, nurses, young couples, seniors, and veterans must overpay or double up and live in substandard housing, which affects the health, education, and well-being of our families, children and elderly. We are very grateful to the Wells Fargo Foundation and MUFG Union Bank Foundation for their generous contribution to developing Etting Road Apartments,” added Margarita H. de Escontrias, CEO of Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation.
Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation, residents at Cabrillo’s Camino Gonzalez/Paseo de Luz Apartments and United Way of Ventura County will collaborate on a beautification project for the 28th annual Day of Caring on Sept. 16.
Volunteers will plant rose bushes and create a community garden in memory of longtime Cabrillo resident and Community Services Manager Maria Hernandez, who lost her battle with cancer earlier this year, said Cabrillo’s Director of Resident and Community Services, Janice Aharon-Ezer.
“This day is very special because we are dedicating the property improvements in memory of Maria Hernandez. We also are having a plaque installed that will serve as a permanent reminder of her work at that property,” Aharon Ezer said. She said volunteers will dig and plant peach and guava trees, seeds and bushes. Hernandez’s family will attend and help with planting a tree, and Cabrillo CEO Margarita H. de Escontrias will speak and lead in the singing of some Mexican folk songs.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 16, at Camino Gonzalez/Paseo de Luz Apartments, 481 Gonzalez Road, Oxnard. If you would like to volunteer for this or another Day of Caring event in Ventura County, please register on the United Way website, vcunitedway.org.
VENTURA, CALIFORNIA – Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation will present keynote speaker Rick Najera at its 35th Anniversary Gala celebration from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 28, at The Tower Club, 300 E. Esplanade Dr., Oxnard.
The evening will begin with cocktails at 5:30 p.m., kicking off the silent auction. The dinner and program will begin at 6:30 p.m., featuring keynote speaker Rick Najera, named one of the “most powerful and influential Latinos in entertainment,” by the Imagen Foundation. Veteran documentary filmmaker and Los Angeles-based broadcast network journalist David Cruz will be the master of ceremonies.
The event will include a gourmet dinner and silent and live auctions with Andres Herrera, former Oxnard city councilman and owner of HAV Associates, as auctioneer. A program including awards presentations honoring local attorney Barbara Macri-Ortiz and Jaime Bordenave, the former director of Cabrillo Improvement Association (Cabrillo’s predecessor), for their efforts and advocacy as leaders in affordable housing also is scheduled.
Funds raised from this event will provide affordable housing and make it possible for Cabrillo to improve lives through ongoing educational and social programs, financial education programs, food pantries, and after-school tutoring and reading clubs for children. Proceeds will create a ladder of opportunity that will lift the entire community.
Tickets for the event are $100 and are available for purchase online at cabrilloedc.org.
Najera, named “Top 13 in Diversity” by the L.A. Times and one of the “100 most Influential Latinos in America” by Hispanic Business Magazine, is an American sketch comedian, screenwriter, director, producer, actor, author, playwright and national speaker with an expansive portfolio of credits in all forms of entertainment.
Najera has starred in films with George Clooney, directed Perez Hilton in the “Britney Spears World Tour,” and has written sketches for Jamie Foxx and Jim Carrey. He is best known for starring on Broadway in “Latinologues,” directed by comedy veteran, Cheech Marin; directing the CBS “Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase: and writing for “MADtv,” “In Living Color” and Hulu’s Emmy-nominated original series, “East Los High.” He created, serves as host and is executive producer for the “Latino Thought Makers Series,” interviewing celebrity friends such as Edward James Olmos, Dolores Huerta and more.
Najera has written for television, film, new media and Broadway, including the feature film “Nothing Like the Holidays,” for which he received an ALMA Award.
As an award-winning author, he has written” Latins Anonymous,” “Pain of the Macho,” “Latinologues: From Broadway and Beyond,” and “Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood.” He is working on his fifth book, “Najera in America.”
• Yardi Systems
• Toro Enterprises Inc.
• City National Bank
• Goldfarb Lipman Attorneys
• Kaiser Air Conditioning
• Wells Fargo Bank Community Lending
• Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco|
• MJD Concrete Works Inc.
• NeighborWorks, Pacific District
• Pure Water Plumbing Inc.
• Reiter Affiliated Companies
• Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services LLC
• United Way of Ventura County
• Brokaw Nursery
• Ellen Brokaw
• Helen Dunlap Consulting
• Retirement Benefits Group
• Tri-Counties Regional Center
• Margarita H. de Escontrias and the Escontrias Family
• MJM Protection
• JP Morgan Chase & Co.
• Rural LISC
• California Housing Partnership
• Commander Printed Products