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San Diego Promise Zone

San Diego Promise Zone map

Click here to visit the new 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 most disadvantaged and underserved communities. More than 80,000 San Diegans live in the Promise Zone, an area where unemployment is high (15.61 percent, pre-pandemic), and poverty is concentrated (39.06 percent). 

Through the PDF icon 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:

  • Increasing Economic Activity 
  • Increasing Access to Quality Affordable Housing 
  • Promoting Access to Healthcare and Healthy Communities 
  • Improve Educational Opportunities
  • Creating Jobs 
  • Creating a Priority of Safety 

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 will 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 thePDF icon SDPZ Ten Year Strategic Plan

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

San Diego Promise Zone Partner Financial Assistance

Program Summary
As part of a multi-year partnership with California Coast Credit Union (Cal Coast), the San Diego Promise Zone is administering one-time capacity building, community outreach, and workforce development microgrants to support efforts of Promise Zone partners. The San Diego Promise Zone Partner Financial Assistance aims to support the grant writing efforts of Promise Zone partners by providing individual professional grant writing technical assistance for partner projects. Funding will also support the capacity building of Promise Zone partners and partner work assisting individuals experiencing barriers to post-secondary education and employment.  Additional opportunities for financial literacy education for Promise Zone partners, business owners, and youth will be explored, and a focus on creating awareness and ultimately new partnerships between Cal Coast and Promise Zone Partners will be priority in order to advance the goals of the designation. Annual funding levels and allocations are subject to corporate partnership contributions and Promise Zone goals and priorities.
General Provisions

Organization Legal Status: Nonprofit organization with a signed (or willing to sign a)  Partner Memorandum of Understanding with the San Diego Promise Zone
Contract Duration: Twelve (12) months, with an option for extension for up to 3 months
Funding Awards: Minimum $1,500 to a maximum $20,000 (per qualifying applicant)

Allocation and Use of Funds:

  • Funds will not be available for disbursement until 1) a final agreement is fully executed; and 2) all necessary internal accounting protocols have been established. 
  • Contract awardees will not be precluded from applying for other discretionary City fund source(s) during the contract period.
  • Awarded funds must be fully expended a year after contract execution.
  • At least half of the population served must be Promise Zone residents.
Application and Selection Process

The application process will officially open on December 1st, 2021 and will close on January 4, 2022. PDF icon Preview the application here.

Please note, the application should be completed using Chrome or Firefox (Internet Explorer is not supported).

All applications will be required to provide the following information:

  • Scope of work, programs and/or services to be provided, and the schedule for completing scope of work.
  • Proposed budget to complete scope of work, programs and/or services.
  • All prior funding received from the City in the last three years, including a brief project description, amount of funds received and the source of funding.
  • If awarded, applicants must submit the following supplemental documents and disclosures as required by the City’s standard nonprofit contracting provisions:
    • Board of Directors List Include affiliations and brief background information 
    • Key Personnel List Include key information on training, qualifications and experience
    • Nonprofit Status Include a copy of IRS Determination Letter
    • Articles of Incorporation
    • Printout of Nonprofit status from Department of Justice website
    • Printout of Entity Status Letter from Franchise Tax Board website
    • Federal IRS Form 990 Copy of most recently submitted Form 990
  • A request for funding and subsequent allocation may not be less than $1,500 or exceed $20,000. Partial grants may be awarded based on the selection process. Funding allocations are contingent on annual funding levels.
  • An organization may not apply to receive funding for an event or program which has already occurred, nor any goods, supplies, services, materials, or equipment which have already been purchased.
  • Successful applicants will advance one or more of San Diego Promise Zone Goals.
Application Support
  • San Diego Promise Zone staff will offer a virtual Technical Assistance (TA) Workshop on Monday, December 6, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. (PDT). Nonprofit organizations interested in attending the TA Workshop are encouraged to RSVP with PromiseZone@sandiego.gov.
  • Staff will also offer technical assistance appointments from December 7, 2021 to December 14, 2021 (excluding weekends and City holidays) between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (PDT). Appointments will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis and only one meeting can be scheduled per applicant. Technical assistance meetings will consist of discussing program eligibility and requirements. To ensure fairness in this competitive process, assistance will NOT be provided in terms of developing a project or providing recommendations and/or feedback on draft written RFPs/applications. Technical Assistance appointments can be requested by emailing PromiseZone@sandiego.gov.
Contracting Process

Approved applications will be routed to assigned Economic Development Department staff for contract processing. The City’s contractual process is required in order to make funding available for disbursement of award for programs and services provided per the agreed upon scope of services and budget (contract). Depending on the proposed scope of programs/services/activities to be provided per the agreement and the timely receipt of all required supporting documents and forms to be provided by the contract awardee, it will take approximately 4 to 6 weeks to execute a final agreement.

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

  • Xiomalys Crespo, Promise Zone Manager, City of San Diego Economic Development Department
  • Kent Tran, Promise Zone Coordinator, City of San Diego Economic Development Department
  • Anna Fox, AmeriCorps VISTA, Civic Engagement Associate
  • Emma Bray, AmeriCorps VISTA, Operations Associate

Digital Inclusion in the Promise Zone Workshop Series

Series 1 -  Getting to a Common Agenda - 12/15/20

Series 2 - Access to Connectivity - 5/18/21

UPCOMING! Series 3 - Assessing Access and Device Needs - 12/08/21

Stay Connected 

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