Each month, the Mission Economic Development Agency honors one of its dedicated volunteers—the people who are an integral part of MEDA’s ability to provide free services to low- and moderate-income Bay Area residents. Thanks to all of the selfless MEDA volunteers who choose Plaza Adelante as their second home.
Name: Lee Hoytt
Program: Community Real Estate
Why did you decide to volunteer with MEDA?
I wanted to volunteer with MEDA because I live in the Mission and I think there is tremendous value in preserving its heritage, while also making it a better place to live and work. I first got in touch about a Financial Capability volunteer position, but the Community Real Estate team turned out to be a much better fit, given my prior experience with real estate acquisitions and asset management.
What projects have you worked on as a volunteer?
There have been several focal points:
- Neighborhood business inventory: cataloging all the businesses on the Mission Street corridor between 16th and 24th streets to get a better sense of what exists in the Mission neighborhood and how we could try to fill in some of the gaps in services currently available.
- Plaza Adelante: valuing the building.
- Small Sites Program: tapping into funds newly made available by the San Francisco Mayor’s office to buy residential buildings to keep the tenants from being evicted.
What do you like best about volunteering at MEDA?
The people! Everyone on the Community Real Estate team–and everyone else with whom I’ve interacted-has been fantastic. Also, the fact that it’s two blocks from my apartment.
What have you learned from your volunteer experience?
I’ve learned much about what’s happening in the neighborhood in which I’m living, and I’ve also learned a lot about residential real estate in San Francisco. It’s also been an interesting experience getting out of the corporate culture and working with a lean, nonprofit team.
Tell us something we may not know about you. Any interesting facts you’d like to share about your life?
I was smuggled out of China as a two-year-old in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square protests.
Looking to join a great cause, too? Find out how to volunteer at MEDA. We hope you can join us!