by Director of Program Evaluation, Learning & Impact Morgan Buras-Finlay
The Mission Promise Neighborhood (MPN) has released a report, “The Story of the Mission Promise Neighborhood Community: Results and Trends from the 2014 & 2016 MPN Neighborhood Survey,” offering an in-depth analysis of ongoing neighborhood need. Families living in the Mission or with a child going to school in the Mission were included in the analyses for this report, representing nearly 600 families and 1,300 children under the age of 24.
The survey evidenced some major achievements of the MPN education initiative. For example, there are now 13 percent more families reading to infants or toddlers at least three times a week, and over 91 percent of students from kindergarten to eighth grade reading to themselves for that amount of time. Graduations have increased 10 percent at MPN’s John O’Connell High School — closing the gap with the San Francisco Unified District’s citywide rate — with a college-going culture at home becoming the norm.
This critical report’s salient findings also put forth data verifying many of the ongoing issues in San Francisco’s Mission District. For example, it is a common topic of conversation that there is a widening income gap in the neighborhood, showcased by the fact that San Francisco’s median household income of $78,378 is more than twice that of the $35,000 or less earned by 77 percent of MPN families. While the City likes to tout its historically low unemployment rate of 3.4 percent, the survey indicated that 14 percent of respondents are unemployed; therefore, based upon their income and level of educational attainment, it can be inferred that they are not benefitting as much from San Francisco’s tech boom. The survey even found that 31 percent of MPN families do not have a bank account, compared to 6.2 percent statewide.
With regard to the Mission’s ongoing housing crisis, it was determined that 61 percent of MPN families are cost burdened by the monthly price of shelter (HUD defines a “cost burden” as housing costs that exceed 30 percent of monthly income.) No wonder that 40 percent of survey respondents – of which 92 percent are renters — claimed they often worried about being forced to move due to increased rent or cost of living.
San Francisco’s Mission District has been facing — and continues to face — one of the most severe housing crises of any neighborhood in the nation, with about 8,000 people displaced from this community in the last decade. That’s over 25 percent. Displacement has recently become an even greater threat to the community, pushing vulnerable families out of our Sanctuary City, with its safeguards and legal representation from immigration officials, universal healthcare with Healthy SF, tenants’ rights and rent control, and culturally relevant access to services to help working families succeed.
Combatting such issues is why the MPN education initiative started back in 2013, with over 20 community-based organizations ensuring that families succeed so students achieve. The need to continue the impactful work of MPN is quite apparent while poring over the pages of this comprehensive report.
Press and those writing papers are welcome to use data from the report (citation: Mission Promise Neighborhood. (2017). The Story of the Mission Promise Neighborhood Community: Results and Trends from the 2014 & 2016 MPN Neighborhood Survey.)
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