Dear MEDA Supporter:
I hope this finds you, your family and colleagues safe and well. As a critical partner and supporter, I wanted to share some updates on the state of our work and reassure you that MEDA continues to responsibly carry out critical services to Mission families. We’re grateful that you have entrusted MEDA to lead and conduct this work, and we’re taking comprehensive measures and precautions to reach our clients and families in a safe and timely manner.
So much has transpired over the course of the last two weeks. As we faced the need to do our part to flatten the curve by postponing workshops, and limiting traffic to our plaza, we also effectively made the decision to close Plaza Adelante and have MEDA’s team exclusively provide our services remotely. While this is a major shift in our operations, we’re inspired by an ever-resilient community of 60,000 in our District that continues to adapt to constant economic and housing challenges. Now they need us to adapt to support them at this critical time — and here are some examples of how our services, and their delivery have quickly pivoted:
- We are directly connecting families to critical resources. Family Success Coaches, once housed at nine Mission schools and several early learning centers, are personally consulting the families in their caseloads to directly connect them to critical resources at this time. Whether it is food assistance and pantries, child care and at-home educational activities, or unemployment and wage replacement tools, our team is there to help each family.
- MEDA staff continue to hold phone meetings to help clients complete their taxes for free.
- Our promotoras — once canvassing the community — are learning how to use WhatsApp and SMS tools to encourage families to complete the Census.
- Housing coaches are assisting families in navigating San Francisco’s eviction moratorium and rent subsidies while our asset-building team has focused on advising clients on how to access emergency services such as unemployment insurance and business loan forgiveness brought on by the crisis.
- As the backbone organization of the Mission Promise Neighborhood, we have continued to convene a dozen CBOs in the Mission and beyond to coordinate the community’s resources for the vulnerable families and students we serve.
While we continue to learn, adapt and implement our services remotely for the foreseeable future, we’re turning to you for your continued support. Your continued investment is ensuring that we can continue to deploy care and assistance in a rapid manner for our families. As you may already know, over 94% of the clients that we serve are low- to moderate-income families, with adults working multiple low-wage jobs that don’t offer paid sick leave or wage replacement. Mission families face an average rent of $4,784, and our small-business owners are increasingly at risk of closing. These households will suffer the most from our current crisis.
I am asking the following:
- That you continue to financially support MEDA and our community, and consider how you can increase your funding for our communities in response to this crisis.
- That you consider disbursing these funds now — as general operating support — so we can continue and expand our remote services.
- That you contact me If you need us to assist in advising or deploying rapid response efforts, given our reach in the Mission.
- That you share feedback and keep an open dialogue to problem-solve together.
As a 47-year-old organization, we have weathered challenging times before, and I am confident that we can weather this storm together, too. We will continue to provide updates on how our work is progressing in response to this crisis. We would also love to schedule a phone call or virtual meeting with you in the coming days to further discuss our response. Please let us know when you have time to talk.
CEO, Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
(415) 282-3334 ext. 111