The Mission District will be awash in a sea of orange starting today. No, it’s not that autumn came early this year. It’s actually the sea of orange vests and backpacks worn by the zealous teams conducting the Mission Promise Neighborhood (MPN) survey of 1,000 households in this primarily Latino community.
Bilingual duos will be visiting homes in a rectangular area bordered by Duboce Avenue to the north, Cesar Chavez Street to the south, Portrero Avenue to the east and Dolores Street to the west. This extensive survey was coordinated with Harder + Company Community Research, tapping into Vice President Kym Dorman’s advanced skills in qualitative and quantitative research methods.
MPN, a program overseen by the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), is one of just a dozen such federal programs in the entire nation. The goal is to take children on a cradle-to-college-to-career continuum, based on results-driven data of family success. Ascertaining the issues affecting these families, via a broad survey, will help MPN better target services and address community needs.
States MEDA Executive Director Luis Granados, “While the Mission Promise Neighborhood Survey is federally mandated, it is actually something I have wanted to put in motion for years. To send out a dedicated team of staff and volunteers to ask 1,000 Mission District families about their concerns and issues translates to MEDA better understanding the service integration necessary to foster asset building in the community. This is a win for MEDA and the Mission’s Latino residents—the constituents we have been serving the past four decades.”
The first group left MEDA’s Mission neighborhood center, Plaza Adelante, this morning, fully trained and armed with surveys. Questions will be asked about children’s issues, nutrition, housing and fiscal matters, with all queries answered anonymously. While the federal government mandates that a consent form be signed, it is not tied to the survey, as the latter has no name attached.
Volunteers were found through community outreach efforts by MEDA staff, especially Volunteer Coordinator Leah Cerri (photo right). One such volunteer, a young Latina named Jennifer (photo left), was donning her vest and backpack this morning, ready to pound the pavement. When asked why she had volunteered, Jennifer proclaimed, “I am going to be volunteering five days a week for a month as a way to give back to my community.”
MEDA’s Director of Evaluation Carolina Guzman (top photo, center), who is overseeing the survey, praised volunteers such as Jennifer by stating, “It is an honor for me to lead this vital survey that will offer needed insight to the Mission neighborhood’s issues. The enthusiasm I have seen from MPN staff and community volunteers is uplifting. This cadre of volunteers is trained and ready to hit the ground running to gather the information needed. Our volunteer program has recruited over 30 volunteers, 10 promotoras (Hispanic community outreach members) and 15 youths to participate in these data-collection efforts.”
The MPN survey will take place through May 30th, so you may hear a friendly knock on your door this spring. Thanks in advance to the Mission District for welcoming these MPN surveyors so that they can gain a more comprehensive understanding of what is going on in the neighborhood. This is possible only as a joint effort between MPN and Mission District residents.