Anita Maldonado, Ph.D. Assumes Top Leadership Role

New CEO to Set Course for Anti-Poverty Agency in the Next 50 Years

California Human Development (CHD), a leader in the War on Poverty serving farmworkers and others of low income for 50 years, is today operating under the leadership of its new Chief Executive Officer Anita Maldonado, Ph.D. Maldonado assumed the CEO position earlier this month following the retirement of longtime CHD leader Christopher Paige. She was formerly the Chief Operating Officer for IMPACT Community Action in Columbus, Ohio, and comes to CHD with an extensive background in social services and community action.

“It’s a thrill to be here in beautiful northern California and most importantly to be a part of making a difference for those in our communities who struggle so hard to make ends meet,” says Maldonado.  “CHD has such a rich and long history of serving people throughout the north state. It’s my honor to work with the Board and staff to create a new strategic vision that will help propel the agency to an even higher level of service in the Next 50 Years.”

Maldonado has a breadth of experience in nonprofit leadership in programmatic, operations,fundraising and executive capacities. Her experience focuses on development and successful program implementation serving people of low income, including emergency assistance, financial services, workforce development, re-entry, youth services and affordable housing, among other programs. She was selected for the CEO role following a nationwide search and joins CHD in the midst of the agency’s milestone 50th anniversary celebration. She serves as only the fourth chief executive officer in the organization’s history.

Maldonado leads CHD’s team of 200-plus staff based in Santa Rosa and with offices across northern California. The agency, which was inspired in service to migrant and seasonal farmworkers in 1967, is today a non-profit, human services provider waging the War on Poverty across 31 northern California counties. CHD creates opportunities for people from all walks of life who struggle in the grips of poverty to achieve self-sufficiency. Through training and employment, affordable housing, immigration assistance, disABILITY services and recovery from addiction, CHD gives those who labor most a hand up to the American Dream. To date, the agency has served over 500,000 people and counting.



Those who live it speak out on poverty

This spring across northern California, CHD’s Farmworker Services staff met face-to-face with those in our communities who struggle most to survive, asking what it is they need to break the cycle of poverty. CHD hosted 10 public hearings in accordance with its Community Services Block Grant. The hearings offered a powerful reminder of why we do what we do and how a simple hand up that empowers self-sufficiency is key in California’s War on Poverty…



Cuts to Medicaid threaten poorest residents seeking rehab

The Senate health care bill unveiled on Thursday is certain to have a deadly impact on California’s poorest residents battling drug and alcohol addiction, says California Human Development’s Director of Treatment, Sylvie Vatinelle.  The bill cuts new funding that would have allowed people of low income who struggle with addiction to access up to 90 days of residential treatment through Medicaid…


Vatinelle says it’s especially ironic that people of low income who commit crimes are provided with opportunities for rehab through the criminal justice system but poor, law-abiding people who struggle with addiction receive little or no help and then often turn to crime. The taxpayer cost of incarceration can be hundreds-of-thousands of dollars, while CHD’s residential treatment program at Stonehouse, for example, is a few thousand dollars a month and is proven highly effective in helping people to turn their lives around.





Ortiz Plaza Filling Up…Apply Now!

CHD’s new affordable housing complex for farmworker families in Santa Rosa is filling up quickly, but it’s not too late to apply for a handful of units still available. Rents in these homes are capped at 30% of family income. The homes are brand new, two bedroom, one-and-a-half bathroom apartments located in Santa Rosa’s Larkfield area, just south of Windsor off Old Redwood Highway near Airport. The homes, built with major funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are available to accommodate 2 to 5 people. At least one tenant must work in farm labor and be authorized to work in the U.S.

Ortiz Family Plaza addresses Sonoma County’s severe lack of affordable housing and serves to provide safe, quality, affordable homes for farm-working families–among the area’s poorest residents. The project is a significant accomplishment for CHD’s Affordable Housing Division and is made possible by wide-reaching support from federal, state and local government, as well as private foundations, businesses, and individuals.

To apply for Ortiz Family Plaza, please call 707-523-1155 x 4743… and do not delay. The complex is expected to be fully occupied soon.