"The Better Barrio" – A three-part blog series highlighting a time when Logan Heights flourished and enriched all of San Diego.

The community of Barrio Logan, once known as Logan Heights, is one of San Diego's oldest neighborhoods, rich in history and stories to tell; stories of a time when Interstate 5 did not exist, the community was diverse, the small business economy thrived and legends left their mark.
While today we fight to relocate industrial businesses and repair poor air quality in Barrio Logan, it helps to remember all the good that exists in our community and what our neighborhood has done for San Diego.

A legend worth mentioning is Helen Marston, founder of San Diego's Neighborhood House which served as a settlement house for the Mexican community for nearly sixty years and continues to provide service to various San Diego communities today. This house served as a place families could go for help with common problems, engaging community programs, to meet their neighbors and gain a sense of family and community pride.

Neighborhood House Story Time - 1930s

For six decades Helen turned the Neighborhood House into a prominent San Diego establishment focused on working with community members dealing with the pressing issues of the time, including public health, education, and Americanization. Helen devoted herself to her community and the Neighborhood House while capitalizing on her journalism skills to disprove Latino prejudices as well. In 1920 her article, "Mexican Traits", was published in a well-known publication. The article explained the work of the Neighborhood House and the Latino families she interacted with on a daily basis. Her writings and the Neighborhood House gave Barrio Logan and our surrounding communities an understanding and welcoming place where neighbors could meet and overcome obstacles of the time, together.

Barrio Logan has a chance to restore this togetherness and neighborhood unity once again. We support Alternative 1 for Barrio Logan's Community Plan Update; to give community members an opportunity to build healthy neighborhoods and make positive, long-lasting changes for the betterment of the community - like Helen did.

Please sign our letter to support Alternative 1 and a promising future for Barrio Logan.

You can read more about Helen's life of activism here

(Neighborhood House Association is an independent 501 (c) 3 organization and does not participate or endorse attempts for lobbying or political activities.)