Helpful Local Year-Round Farmworker Resources

2023 started with extreme weather conditions that heavily affected our local farms and farmworkers. Some are still dealing with the loss of crops and work hours; because of this, we would like to start this newsletter by sharing a few local year-round resources:

And a program that started on January 9th:

Farm & Food Workers COVID-19 Relief Program UFW! 1-(877) 881-8281

No Place to Call Home

Speaking of helpful organizations, CLUE – Ventura County invited our executive director to speak at their, No Place to Call Home event. Gabrielle shared the stage with Maria Navarro, Ventura County Housing Coalition, Rick Schroeder, Many Mansions, andSue Brinkmeyer, Ventura Homeless Prevention. CLUE hosted a follow-up virtual meeting towards the end of January that House Farm Workers! board member and treasurer Ellen Brokaw and Gabrielle Vignone spoke at. CLUE is moving forward with encouraging community members to advocate for housing justice. Look for future CLUE events or housing calls to action from CLUE on their Instagram page @cluevc.

One Step A La Vez

The Ventura County collaborations continued, and we saw Maria Navarro a third time in January. She was a guest speaker during our monthly youth group meeting at One Step A La Vez and presented on “Creating Our Own Cities, What Do We Want for Our Communities?” The youth formed teams (team names: turtles, rabbits, and cats), drew what they wanted to see in their town, and labeled each with its zoning code.

During the February One Step A La Vez meeting, HFW! staff led a conversation about Ventura’s top crops while artist William Caceres taught the youth how to draw strawberries, lemons, nursery stock, and raspberries. HFW! reviewed how much income each crop brings in yearly, the average farmworker’s yearly wage, and the annual income needed to rent a 2-bedroom apartment in Ventura County.

We are always looking for new monthly presenters. If you think you would be a great presenter and have a housing topic in mind, or if you are interested in sponsoring our monthly meetings, email us at:

Farmworker Housing Study and Action Plan

We have some fantastic news about the Countywide Farmworker Housing Study and Action Plan, which is shared in this article by John Krist:

Now that you have read all about the employer surveying that started in February and the Farmworker Surveys scheduled to start this month, we hope that you will spread the word on how important the data we will get from these surveys is.

“This comprehensive study will provide a foundation of information driving funding for housing and other projects supporting Ventura County’s farmworker community,” said Leslie Leavens, chair of the HFW! board. “It’s crazy that we don’t know basic information about these folks on whom such a large part of our economy relies, such as how many farmworkers live in Ventura County and under what circumstances. Unfortunately, the lack of knowledge undermines efforts to provide the resources that they need, which this study will address.” 

Leslie Leavens, chair of the HFW! board

We are hopeful that employers of farmworkers will support this effort, as we need a high level of response to this survey for our data to be robust and reliable. If you employ farmworkers in Ventura County and have not received a link to the survey, or if you would be willing to have surveying done at your worksite, please get in touch with Gabrielle Vignone of HFW! at to express your interest. We want to thank the California Avocado Commission, the Farm Bureau of Ventura County, and the Agricultural Commissioner of Ventura County for sharing information about the survey.

The Ellen Brokaw Scholarship

Excitingly, it is scholarship time; the application period is from March 20th to May 1st this year. Three scholarships will be awarded in the amount of $3,000 to college-bound or current college students whose parents are farm workers in Ventura County. Please spread the word and encourage qualifying community members to apply.

Kirsten Schultz – Administrative Assistant

We are excited to announce that we have hired Kirsten Schultz as our administrative assistant. Schultz has a background in the Arts and a passion for the Humanities. She graduated from Cal State Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Film, Television, and Media and an Associate of Arts in Theatre. While working on film sets, she discovered a love for writing and began writing professionally for digital media. Being a SoCal native, Schultz has grown alongside the farming communities that account for much of California’s economy and hopes to make a difference.

Our work is possible because of our amazing volunteers and donors.

Donate online at:

Or mail a donation to:

House Farm Workers!
P.O. Box 402
Santa Paula, CA 93061

If you are new to HFW! and are looking for a way to get involved, we have listed a few options below for you:

Want to join one of our City Group Committees?

These committees have room for new members:

Oxnard House Farm Workers! Committee

Second Wednesday of the month at 9 a.m. via Zoom.

Ventura House Farm Workers! Committee

Fourth Tuesday at 4 p.m. via Zoom.

Fillmore & Piru Task Force

First Wednesday at 5 p.m. via Zoom.

Email to be added to our mailing list.

Feeling generous?

Amazon Smile: Donate while you shop on Amazon without spending additional money! Before your next Amazon purchase, visit: and select House Farmer Workers! of Santa Paula as your charity.

Gift Donations: Don’t know what to get your loved ones this year? Donate in their name:

Written by Gabrielle Vignone

Edited by John Krist