Paul Tough

Writer & Speaker

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

News from San Diego

Voice of San Diego, an online “public-service, nonprofit news organization that focuses on in-depth and investigative reporting,” has posted an interesting new story about efforts to turn San Diego’s City Heights area into a Promise Neighborhood. According to the story, people there are wrestling with an unusual dilemma: Would landing a Promise Neighborhood grant mean there was too much philanthropic investment in the neighborhood?

In some ways, residents believe, City Heights is ideally situated to compete for the federal grant. It has San Diego’s largest network of community-based nonprofits tackling issues from affordable housing to gang violence to financial literacy.

“City Heights has arisen as a very strong potential community,” said Diana Ross, collaborative director of the Mid City Community Advocacy Network, which supports organizations in the area. “We have more resources, and City Heights is a community where there’s a lot of investment.”

But there are also standing questions about whether the community, which already enjoys significant philanthropic investment, is equipped to handle even more. On Tuesday, more than 100 community residents and nonprofit leaders met at the City Heights Wellness Center to learn about the federal initiative and begin discussing whether City Heights was ready for it.


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