Footsteps of Change: A Guided Journey through the Mission District with MEDA

By Lucy Porras, Vice President of Development & Communications at Mission Economic Development Agency

Tour participants stand outside of 100% Affordable Housing New Construction, Casa Adelante – 2060 Folsom in San Francisco’s Mission District

As 2023 draws to a close, I’m reflecting on the dozens of requests that flooded my inbox—partners, funders, and supporters eager to explore the Mission District with MEDA. While San Francisco grapples with challenges spotlighted by the media as the ‘doom-loop,’ the Mission District narrates a different story. MEDA, bolstered by robust partnerships, has been steadfastly supporting Latiné and immigrant families. Coincidentally, 2023 marked our 50th year—a testament to our resilience and innovative evolution from direct services provider to catalyzing systemic change, all in pursuit of building Latino prosperity.

Twenty-three tours hosted by our Development and Communications team, alongside numerous engagements by our Equitable Recovery Institute, marked an unprecedented demand this year. Esteemed partners like US Bank, PNC Bank, and representatives from state agencies walked alongside MEDA’s leadership, delving into our history, the narratives of our families, and the comprehensive services fostering community prosperity. All together, these ‘Impact Tours’ welcomed over 500 individuals, unveiling our neighborhood’s essence and the transformative potential of MEDA’s place-based model.

Beyond community building and fostering awareness, our tours illuminate partnership opportunities, from beautification initiatives to bolstering business corridors and preserving housing along Mission Street. Yet, they offer much more. Amidst Plaza Adelante’s warmth, on a daily basis, I witness families celebrating newfound homes, entrepreneurs flourishing with mini-grants, students embarking on educational journeys, and resilient women pursuing career aspirations. Our partners gain firsthand insights into their influence on our community, experiencing an immersive learning encounter.

At MEDA, we embody the community in action, intertwining stories of success, hope, and resilience that resonate within the nearly 20,000 individuals we serve. I am thankful we have deeply engaged, comprehensive, and appreciative partners in this work. Their thought partnership, generous contributions, and shared values have translated into the success we celebrate on our tours and the magic the Mission continues to offer.

MEDA CEO Luis Granados joined by HUD Deputy Secretary Adrienne Todman alongside Edwin Rodriguez and Abanico Coffee’s very own Ana Valle.

To those who’ve walked our streets, thank you! For those seeking place-based impact, join us as we uncover stories and community possibilities. If you’re a current or prospective partner eager for a transformative 2024 tour, complete this form to begin your journey with us.

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