Mission Highlight: Thank you, Steffen, for sharing the mission highlight on District 9.
"Good morning, Christ Church. My name is Steffen and I have been part of Christ Church for the past year and half.
We believe that as followers of Jesus, we are sent out to love, to serve, and to share the good news of Jesus. Each week, we have a Mission Highlight to direct our attention to a specific area where God is at work, and some of these highlights include the various districts within our city.
Today, I have the opportunity to share with you all about District 9, where I spent my first two years living in the city. I recently moved to a new place in the city at the end of the summer, and as I moved, I was able to spend more time reflecting on my experience in District 9 -- what makes this part of the city special and how it made me feel at home in the time that I lived there.
We share about the various districts in the city in order that we might love and serve our city -- in order for us to do so, we must know the city, so I'll start with "What is District 9?" District 9 is comprised of the Mission District, Bernal Heights, and the Portola. The sides of the district are shaped in part by the northbound 101 to the east and Valencia St to the west, stretching from just above 14th St down to Mansell St below the 280.
District 9 includes a total population of 86,000, with over half of its residents residing in family households. The median year of the structures built in this district is 1956, so much of the physical lay-out of the area has been in place for a number of decades. Nearly 30% of its residents fall in the 18-34 age range, including many SF transplants much like myself.
Valencia St is perhaps the best example of how the neighborhood has changed and continues to evolve. While you can still find a great hole-in-the-wall taqueria, you will often find it in between a trendy boutique and an artisanal coffee shop, or a hip new bar or restaurant and a tasty ice cream pop-up.
I found my home in this neighborhood in many places: A grand tour of the neighborhood taquerias in search for the best al pastor -- my personal favorites are Taqueria Cancun and Taqueira El Buen Sabor; a weeknight pick-up soccer league at John O'Connell High School; rooftop views from the terrace of El Techo; a cleverly creative indoor mini-golf adventure at Urban Putt; and some of the most beautiful views of the city atop Bernal Heights Summit.
The district may also be recognizable for the bustling life surrounding the 24th St BART stop, the many shows performed at the Greek-style Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, the popular climbing gym at Mission Cliffs, arthouse cinemas like the Alamo Drafthouse and the Roxie Theater, and multiple Michelin star restaurants -- Lazy Bear, Californios, and Al's Place, to name a few.
In terms of public schools, District 9 has 9 elementary schools, 1 middle school, 4 high schools, and 1 college. The district also has 2 police stations and 3 public libraries.
The district is estimated to be 24% Asian, 4% African American, 47% White, 36% Latino, and 1% Native. The district's unemployment rate is 7% and its poverty demographic is 12%. 45% of residents hold at least a bachelor's degree, and 35% hold a high school degree or less. 39% of residents are foreign-born. 48% speak only English, and 30% speak only Spanish.
District 9 holds a special place in my heart, and I pray that each of us would have a heart weighted with a care for this part of the city, asking God to guide our eyes to see the opportunities we will have to love with true sincerity, serve with true humility, and share the gospel with true joy and gratitude. Please join me in lifting District 9 up in prayer now."