In 1979, when LTSC opened
its doors, the primary activity was providing social services to the Issei
(Japanese-speaking first generation immigrants) who needed help in dealing with
the activities of daily living, and in navigating often complicated systems of
government services. Limited English proficiency was a major barriers in a wide
range of activities, from transportation, to paying utility bills and to
obtaining earned government benefits.
Over the years, as the community changed, LTSC made changes to live up to
its goal of helping people and building community through meeting the unmet
needs of all who needed assistance. We continue to assist the Japanese-speaking
elderly, but also assist the growing number of Korean seniors in Little
Welcome to "Far East Lounge" in the Heart of Little Tokyo!
East Lounge Website ]
[ Video on the Far East Lounge ]
The Far East Lounge is a gathering place for seniors and others! Located in
the historic Far East Building at 353 East First Street, it's a multi-purpose
gathering place for "hanging out," relaxing, and meeting interesting people of
all ages. Come and watch your favorite shows on high-definition television or
see movies on a large projection screen. Far
East Lounge is a project of Little Tokyo Service Center.
If hanging out, sipping coffee or tea, watching people walking through
Little Tokyo, is not "your thing," come to take arts & crafts lessons,
learn to speak another language (English, Japanese, Korean, etc.), or keep your
mind active by learning computer skills, photography, video and other
We're never too old to learn something new! At the Far East Lounge, there
will also be workshops on Caregiving Stress, Social Security & Medicare,
Memory Retention, Scams Against Elders, and lots of other topics.
Financial Education for Seniors
“Avoid Scams and Plan Wisely”
Have you ever been a victim of financial scams? Do you know someone who
experienced identity theft? Older adults are prime targets for financial
exploitation both by persons they know and trust, as well as by strangers. In
many Asian and other immigrant communities, the epidemic of financial elder
abuse remains under the radar.
Because it is difficult to investigate and prosecute these crimes, awareness
and prevention is the first step. In October 2013, LTSC sponsored a seminar to
inform Asian American seniors and their caregivers about ways to avoid scams
that target older people and measures to prevent identity theft. The program,
attended by close to 300 people and presented in English, Japanese, Korean and
Chinese, was made possible through major funding from Citi Community
Since then, several follow-up workshops have been held on other financial
education topics such as Long Term-Care and LTC insurance; Living Trusts; and
Living Alone in Late Life. LTSC’s social workers also provide individual case
management and advice on financial matters to low and moderate-income seniors
in our communities.
What are some examples of financial exploitation to be aware of?
• Theft of money or property, often by a caregiver or in-home
• Investment fraud and scams, including deceptive “free-lunch
seminars” selling unnecessary or fraudulent financial services or products
• Lottery and sweepstakes scams
• Scams by telemarketers, mail offers or door-to-door
• Computer and Internet scams
• Identity theft
• Reverse mortgage fraud
• Contractor fraud and home improvement scams
• Exploitation by an agent under Power of Attorney or person
in a fiduciary relationship
For more information or assistance, please contact 213-473-3035.
Program funded by
LTSC conducts outreach and education to increase awareness mental health
services by Japanese and Japanese American families and individuals when they
are needed. A part of that work involves overcoming social stigma and
developing an awareness of tools and resources for counseling, support groups
and educational workshops. Our counselors provide culturally sensitive and
linguistically appropriate services to the Japanese American community
throughout Southern California and uses a variety of therapies that cut through
cultural barriers to understanding.
Services are provided on a sliding scale that allows everyone, regardless of
income, to receive counseling. In addition to direct services, LTSC also
sponsors educational seminars for the general population and service
Support groups provide a
place for participants to exchange not only helpful information but also share
life experiences that encourage each other in their struggles. Most of these
support groups are facilitated by social workers.
Because raising children in the United States presents unique challenges to
Japanese speaking mothers, Little Tokyo Service Center holds a parenting
support group called Koala Club. The mothers, along with their children, meet
twice a month to socialize and interact with each other. Making new friends and
building a support network is a significant aspect of the group because many of
them are recent immigrants from Japan and often feel isolated having left
family and friends behind.
Kosumosu Transitional Housing
Kosumosu opened in January of 2003 to provide transitional housing for
victims of domestic violence. In addition to a physically and emotionally safe
environment, residents also receive job counseling, financial management,
counseling and more. Residents become empowered to rebuild new, healthier lives
through living together and supporting each other. Services are provided in
English, Korean, Mandarin and Japanese.
Stop the Violence program
The "Stop the Violence" program, started in 1994, is for Japanese speaking
batterers who are court ordered to attend a 52-week educational session. The
goal of the program is to educate men who are also caught in the cycle of
violence through education, discussion sessions, stress management, and anger
Nikkei Helpline - 800.645.5341
The Nikkei Helpline is the first crisis hotline for the Japanese American
community. Over 40,000 people have called the Nikkei Helpline since its
inception in 1984, getting help with everything from immigration, education,
and traffic accidents to illness, drug abuse, relationship crises and other
emergencies. NHL serves both English and Japanese-speaking community members,
although 95% of the calls are now from monolingual Japanese speakers born and
raised in Japan.
[ Nikkei Helpline Website ]
Ryugakusei Hotline - 213.473.1630
The Ryugakusei Hotline provides information and referral to Japanese
students living in the U.S. weekdays 10 am to 5 pm. There are up to 100,000
such students in Los Angeles at any given time, often feeling isolated and not
knowing where to turn. Trained volunteers help with an array of topics
including mental health issues, landlord-tenant questions, alcohol and drug
concerns, relationship problems, auto accidents, and immigration
For more information, please visit the Ryugakusei Hotline website.
[ Ryugakusei Hotline Website ]