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Economic Development

San Diego Promise Zone

Visit the interactive San Diego Promise Zone website


In 2016, the San Diego Promise Zone became one of 22 federally designated Promise Zones in the United States and one of only four in California. The San Diego Promise Zone covers a 6.4-square-mile targeted area that spans East Village and Barrio Logan east to Encanto and is home to the City’s most culturally rich and ethnically diverse neighborhoods, but also some of the City's most under-resourced communities. More than 80,000 San Diegans live in the Promise Zone, an area historically burdened by the City's highest concentrated poverty and unemployment rates. 

Since 2016, the unemployment rate has decreased from 14.9% to 9.9%, and the poverty rate has fallen from 38.3% to now 20.3% (ACS, 2016, 2022). We recognize there are many factors that contribute to these numbers. We do know that in the 7 years since the designation, targeted efforts from the city and community-based organizations have supported some improvement in these areas, however, we recognize there is still plenty of work to do to continue improving the lives of our Promise Zone residents.

Through the Promise Zone initiative, federal government partners work with local government agencies, community-based organizations, direct service providers, residents, and business owners to streamline resources and deliver comprehensive support. Leading the effort, the City has partnered with numerous local organizations and agencies to develop programs and initiatives in six Working Group goal areas to improve quality of life among Promise Zone residents by:

Our promise is to co-create an ecosystem of opportunity and investment through collaboration that addresses systemic racism and inequities to improve the quality of life of Promise Zone residents. We do this by fostering partnerships with community-serving organizations, government agencies, philanthropic, corporate, and educational institutions with shared goals. The goals can be reviewed in the SDPZ Strategic Plan. An Investments Snapshot (English, Spanish) and more detailed Investments Summary (English, Spanish) outline investments that the City has made within the Promise Zone from FY17 through FY24. 

Promise Zone staff provided an informational update to the Economic Development & Intergovernmental Relations City Council Committee on Nov. 17, 2021. Access the presentation slides here.  

San Diego Storm Recovery Resources 

In response to the January 22, 2024 flooding that occurred in areas of San Diego, community organizations throughout San Diego have collaborated on resources available to those impacted by the flood. The Community Emergency Response Flood Survivor Support & Resources document is available here. Additionally, the City of San Diego also has resources available here

San Diego Promise Zone Business Walk

In 2023, the City of San Diego partnered with Logan Heights Community Development Corporation and other local organizations to host a Business Walk in the Promise Zone (along Imperial Avenue between 19th and 32nd Street). In 2024, the City of San Diego is partnering with Cal-Coast Credit Union and the Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center as well as other local organizations to host a Business Walk in the Promise Zone on June 27 from 2:00-4:00PM. Volunteers will hear firsthand from business owners to learn what the City of San Diego can do to help further support your business community. Resources will also be shared that are specifically created to help small businesses thrive. 

LEARN MORE about the Business Walk Program

San Diego Promise Zone Partner Financial Assistance

As part of a multiyear partnership with California Coast Credit Union, the San Diego Promise Zone is administering one-time capacity building, community outreach, and workforce development microgrants of up to $10,000 to support efforts of Promise Zone partners advancing the goals of the designation. The application window closed on August 7, 2023.

LEARN MORE about SDPZ Partner Financial Assistance

If you would like to become a partner or learn more information about the Promise Zone, please contact staff:

AmeriCorps VISTA Background: Founded in 1965, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) is an anti-poverty program designed to provide needed resources to nonprofit organizations and public agencies to increase their capacity to lift communities out of poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA provides opportunities for Americans 18 years or older from a diverse range of backgrounds to dedicate a year of full-time service with an organization (“sponsor”) to create or expand programs designed to empower individuals and communities in overcoming poverty.




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