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San Diego Promise Zone Partner Financial Assistance

Program Summary

As part of a multiyear 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. 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, Use of Funds and Timelines:

  • 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; all served must be City of San Diego residents.

  • 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 four to six weeks to execute a final agreement.

The FY2023 application cycle is now closed.

The application opened on December 4, 2021, and twenty-five applications were received; staff hosted a technical assistance workshop and offered one-on-one opportunities to ask questions about the application and process. Nine applicants will be awarded a total of $120,000 during this first year of funding. Awards were determined by the applicants’ experience in serving Promise Zone residents, their engagement with the initiative, the critical need that the proposed projects will address and how current interventions do not meet that need, the metrics that will measure impact, and overall project alignment with working group priorities. 

2022 Awardees 

Project New Village: “Expanding Equitable and Just Food Access within the San Diego Promise Zone”

Since 2010, Project New Village (PNV) has elevated and integrated urban agriculture to increase access to healthy food and as a key component of community revitalization in food-insecure neighborhoods. PNV operates the Mt. Hope Community Garden to grow and sell produce and herbs, distribute free food, provide nutrition education, and host community-centered activities. In 2020, PNV purchased a refrigerated food truck to operate a weekly Mobile Farmers’ Markets at three different SDPZ-serving locations, which will sell affordable, locally grown produce and packaged foods, accept SNAP benefits payments, and offer discounts to help stretch tight food budgets. Through this partnership, PNV will be awarded $13,650 to expand resident and funder engagement through marketing and social media communications related to two major fundraising events for its Mobile Farmers’ Markets and the Community Food Hub. PNV will also submit new grant applications to unlock $500,000+ in new capital. PNV’s projects ensure long-term sustainability by increasing the community’s control over its food supply and keeping more of the community’s money within the community. 

San Diego Parks Foundation: “Park Ambassador Program”

The San Diego Parks Foundation will receive $13,300 to support its Park Ambassador Program, a leadership program for youths ages 16-24 living in low-income areas. Funds will support outreach and recruitment in neighborhoods within the Promise Zone, service project supplies, and student stipends. Curriculum from the Parks Ambassador Program will help build leadership skills and ensure greater access to additional government jobs through by creating pathways for career education and internships and/or jobs within the City of San Diego, increase outdoor education, access, and engagement, and teach youth living in the Promise Zone how to advocate for the environmental health of their community.  

San Diego Co-Harvest Foundation: “Co-Harvest Regenerative Urban Agriculture program - Building environmental stewardship and equity into our food-system"

The Promise Zone Urban Agriculture Program will receive $10,500 to expand upon Co-Harvest's current work by increasing their ability to accept new members within the Promise Zone. This expansion will enable Co-Harvest to install school and residential micro-farms to increase their yield to grow and distribute over 40,000 lbs. of produce in 2022. The funding will help the organization exceed current impact goals and increase the number of San Diego Co-Harvest micro-farms to 100+ by the end of the project period. This project will drastically increase the amount of fresh produce in low-income communities through the implementation and education that comes through food sovereignty and grassroots partnerships with local food banks/mutual aid distributions. 

D.E.T.O.U.R.: “Ambassador Program”

Depositing Empowerment Through Outreach & Urban Development (D.E.T.O.U.R.)’s Ambassador Program provides high school and college girls of color work readiness training, leadership development, and opportunities to explore career pathways. Under this $14,000 award, up to twenty (20) Ambassadors will be selected, with up to four (4) being college students taking on lead roles in the program. All Ambassadors will participate in weekly leadership development and group mentoring sessions focused on confidence building, identity awareness, healthy relationships, and communication. DETOUR will create access to professionals of color through workshops and corporate tours to deepen youth confidence and resiliency. Participants will help plan and execute DETOUR’s FANCY Expo, plan service-learning activities, and be placed in a paid internship. Career coaching, goal setting, and resume-building support will also be provided.  Since their founding in 2011, D.E.T.O.U.R. has served more than 1,000 youth, with 100% of youth that completed their leadership program being accepted into 4-year universities and 44 youth being placed in paid internships. 

Logan Heights Community Development Corporation: “Career & Financial Advancement Center”

Logan Heights Community Development Corporation (Logan Heights CDC) works across the communities of Grant Hill, Logan, Memorial, Sherman, and Stockton. Logan Heights CDC will be awarded $10,500 to provide services from the Career/Financial Advancement Center (CFAC) that are focused on household economic wellbeing. CFAC offers residents employment research and preparation assistance, connection to education and training providers, financial education and coaching, workforce placement and advancement, and income support ranging from tax preparation and accessing benefits. This integrated service delivery is specifically designed to facilitate the ability of low- and moderate-income families to visualize tangible financial goals that will require multiple elements of progress to achieve.  

Leah’s Pantry: “Barrio Botany School-Based Neighborhood Gardens”

The mission of the Barrio Botany program is to provide innovative school garden-based experiential learning opportunities in San Diego urban communities to achieve equity and sustainability in indoor education, nutrition security, environment, and food sovereignty. Leah’s Pantry will be awarded $14,000 to support Barrio Botany and a bilingual horticultural specialist with extensive experience in youth development and community engagement. The grant will help six San Diego Promise Zone school gardens that serve as outdoor learning laboratories for students and as hubs for catalyzing backyard gardening in their surrounding neighborhoods. Their aim is to assist Promise Zone neighborhood residents in nurturing self-reliance, working toward their personal goals for health and well-being, and becoming advocates for change for themselves and their community. 

San Diego Habitat for Humanity: “San Diego Habitat for Humanity Home Repair”

San Diego Habitat for Humanity will be awarded $17,100 to help complete home repairs on three unduplicated households within the Promise Zone earning low to moderate incomes. These families will have access to at-no-cost home repairs for the purpose of providing and preserving safe and stable homeownership. San Diego Habitat for Humanity focuses on looking for long-term solutions for families to produce long-term sustainability and circumvent homeowner displacement into unaffordable or inadequate rental situations. 

San Diego Futures Foundation: “Get Connected, Empowering San Diego Promise Zone”

Over the years, the San Diego Futures Foundation (SDFF) has donated computers to residents and organizations, along with providing digital literacy classes to youth and adults in schools and organizations within the Promise Zone. SDFF will be awarded $12,000 to provide on-site technical assistance at schools, churches, community centers, and partner organizations where instructors will be ready and available to serve the needs of the communities. SDFF is targeting to serve approximately 200 community members with this program, by providing immediate tech support, ongoing digital literacy training, and connection with county-wide resources including workforce development.  Furthermore, community members will gain access to the City’s Digital Navigator System to connect them to additional resources.   

Outdoor Outreach: “Pipeline to Nature: Outdoor Educator Workforce Development Project”

Outdoor Outreach’s mission is to connect youth to the transformative power of the outdoors. Since 1999, they have provided opportunities for more than 17,000 young people from low-income and historically underserved communities, with a special focus on serving youth from the Promise Zone. Through this partnership, Outdoor Outreach will be awarded $14,000 to provide direct employment opportunities to ten (10) youth and empower them to lead outdoor programs that inspire other youth to consider careers in the outdoor professions and green jobs. Those newly hired educators will, in turn, lead 100+ outdoor outings for more than 500 additional San Diego youth. Youth from low-income communities and of color are underrepresented in outdoor/environmental careers and our workforce development program aims to level the playing field. 


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

  • Jackie Culajay, AmeriCorps VISTA, Research and Grants Associate

  • Jessica Pangan, AmeriCorps VISTA, Operations Associate

Visit the new SDPZ website