How many people can say they’ve moved out of the Mission, but have been able to move back? That’s the question posed by Antonio Montesinos, a Mission native who left the city, lived in Concord for seven years and then in 2019 found his way back to his old neighborhood. 

By saving up his money, connecting with friends, and carefully searching the web for good deals, Montesinos, a graduate of SF State University, found a place in the Mission and moved back to his hometown. But, he said, it helped that he’s not married and has no children. “I hope these rents blow up and go back down to 1980s levels,” he said. Though he would not specify on the amount he pays, only saying he pays “too damn much.”

We met as he stood outside of a jewelry store on Mission Street, taking a cigarette break.

“I’m just working, living life and trying to be a part of the Mission again,” said Montesinos, who now sells jewelry at a nearby pawn shop.