Home Press Room LTSCene Newsletter LTSCene - October 2016

LTSCene - October 2016

LTSCene Newsletter

Casa Heiwa

Happy Birthday, Casa Heiwa!

In October 1996, LTSC celebrated the grand opening of Casa Heiwa, the first new family housing to be built in Little Tokyo since WWII. For the last 20 years Casa Heiwa’s 100 apartments have provided affordable housing to countless families and seniors. Casa Heiwa has also housed Little Tokyo Service Center’s home office where we have served thousands of clients, youth, families and community members. Casa Heiwa won the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing’s “Project of the Year” award in 1997 and we think it has lived up to this prestigious award for 20 years and counting.

Mr. Miyata
Mr. Miyata, center, and his supporters: from left, Kyung Joon Suh and Jessica Kanai of LTSC, Keiko Morijiri, and Keith Hamm

Farewell, Mr. Miyata!

Mr. Miyata, a formerly homeless Japanese man, was able to return to Japan thanks to LTSC and the kindness and generosity of many individuals.

Mr. Miyata became homeless when he was evicted from his apartment after losing his job in 2009. With no family in the United States, he did not have anywhere to go after losing his home. For years he made a living by collecting and recycling cans and bottles every day.

His collection route passed by the homes of Keiko Morijiri and filmmaker Keith Hamm. Keiko started looking out for him and occasionally inviting him to dinner with her family. Keith was so moved by his story that he created a short film about it, The Life of a Japanese Homeless Man. Worried about his situation, Keith also reached out to LTSC for help.

LTSC immediately began providing services to Mr. Miyata. LTSC helped him connect with Asian Pacific Health Care Venture to address his health care needs, and provided him with counseling from our staff. LTSC also coordinated with the Consulate General of Japan to search for any surviving family members in Japan. Meanwhile, Keith posted his film online, asking for donations to help Mr. Miyata return to Japan. In all, the campaign raised over $10,000 and arrangements were made to send Mr. Miyata home.

Keith organized a farewell party for Mr. Miyata at the Far East Lounge in Little Tokyo. Mr. Miyata expressed his gratitude to all participants: “I couldn’t return home without everyone’s help. Thank you very much.”

Mr. Miyata safely returned to Japan at the end of June and has started his new life in Tokyo with the help of a local social services agency. His granddaughter is looking forward to meeting him.

Lonely person

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Funds Mental Health Services

Many studies have found that depression is one of the most common issues in Asian American populations, and the underutilization of mental health services by Asian Americans has been well documented over the years. With funding from Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Los Angeles, LTSC will be addressing these issues by providing mental health services in the community, focusing on clients who speak limited English. LTSC would like to thank Kaiser Foundation Hospitals for this grant. With this support LTSC will continue its efforts to reduce depression and other mental health issues among Asian Americans.

Casa Durae
Ribbon-cutting at Casa Durae grand opening

Casa Durae Grand Opening

On September 9, 2016 Little Tokyo Service Center and Korean Resource Center celebrated the completion of Durae Senior Apartments. “Durae” is a Korean word that describes the ancient agrarian practice of community barn-raising. The spirit of helping one another is apt for this project, where it took a village nearly a decade to complete the 67 units of affordable housing on two separate sites in the Koreatown/Wilshire neighborhood. The lack of affordable senior housing has been one of the main obstacles to dignified lives for low-income seniors as housing becomes less and less affordable in Los Angeles. On-site resident services provided by Korean Resource Center will include social and cultural services to help seniors maintain an active and connected lifestyle. The building establishes a new precedent for what can be achieved in gentrifying communities of color in Los Angeles.

Kosumosu House

Blue Shield of California Foundation Supports Kosumosu

Blue Shield of California Foundation awarded a $15,000 grant to LTSC to support Kosumosu, our transitional housing program for survivors of domestic violence. Kosumosu has provided a physically and emotionally safe place for survivors and their children to start new lives since 2003. This core-operating grant allows us the flexibility to respond to new demands and opportunities so that we can continue to reach many of the most vulnerable Californians.

LTSC would like to thank Blue Shield of California Foundation for this unrestricted funding to support our efforts to reduce domestic violence in our community. Blue Shield of California Foundation is the largest private funder of domestic violence prevention and services and we appreciate its continued support.

Mustang Samurais and Mustang Chargers with the Mustangs’ raffle ticket sales coordinator, Kiyomi Koda

Budokan Toyota Raffle

LTSC’s Budokan project recently received a fundraising boost in the form of a 2017 Highlander Hybrid donated by Toyota USA as a raffle prize. LTSC has partnered with various community groups, basketball teams, volleyball teams, and martial arts dojos to sell raffle tickets. Participating groups earn $4 per $10 ticket sold to benefit their own organizations.

Monterey Park Mustangs is one of the many groups selling raffle tickets. Over 250 players from 28 boys’ and girls’ basketball teams ranging from kindergarten to high school sold tickets over the summer. They recently turned in $9,710 to Budokan, earning $3,884 for their organization.

LTSC'S Volunteers
LTSC’s Social Services volunteers & staff

LTSC Celebrates Social Services Volunteers

As we enter this season of giving thanks, we would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the many individuals who generously volunteer their time and resources to our programs. Your warmth, enthusiasm and compassion enable us to serve thousands of seniors, children and families each year.

To recognize and celebrate all the contributions volunteers have made, the Social Services Department hosted a Volunteer Appreciation party on Friday, September 30. We were delighted that over 35 volunteers were able to attend the party and be recognized for their contributions to LTSC. If you would like more information on our volunteer program, please contact Yo Wakita at 213-473-3035.

Small Business Expo
A full house for the Women Entrepreneurs Panel, Ingredients for a Successful Business

Small Business Expo a Smashing Success

The Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program's (API SBP) 17th Annual Asian Small Business Expo on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at the Almansor Court Conference Center was a smashing success! The Expo drew its largest crowd in years, with over 500 people through the course of the morning. The panels were well attended, with the Women's Entrepreneur Panel drawing over 120 attendees. Expo attendees had access to a lot of great information to help start or grow their small and micro businesses, and the 45+ sponsors and exhibitors were quite pleased to be of assistance to so many people.

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Through the Seasons

The Autumn 2016 edition of Through the Seasons, LTSC's social services newsletter, is available to read online.

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10/15 – A3M's Starnight 2016

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Green Tip

​It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating: Turn off lights and appliances when they are not in use.

Thank you to all our supporters for your contributions last month!

September Donors
America Travel Factory
Elizabeth Burton
Shuk-Li & Wataru Ebihara
Dee A. Hayashi
Mimi Ho
Takahiro Ide
Jessica Kanai
Mark Kawauchi
Yoko Kuriki
Barbara Lu-Baltazar
Teresa & Robert Matsushima
Yvonne & Alan Nishio
Mickie Okamoto-Tsudama
Sanuki No Sato
Carol Sato
Mariko Shimozu
Mable & Frank Takenaka
Emily & Dan Weaver
Toshiko Yamamoto
Nora & Norman Yamauchi
Gerald Yee

In Memory of George Isao Tabata
Margie & Michael Odanaka

In Memory of Chor Chai Tan
Marie Tan and Gregory Tan

Budokan of Los Angeles Donations
Akemi Arakaki
William Asato
Chris Ashford & Sheryl Flynn
Lisa & Luis Cortes
Fatima & Dennis DeMesa
Jessica & Dustin DeMesa
Thomas Franklin
Janet Hasegawa & Cliff Chu
Scott Ito & Nan Lee
Glenn Kawafuchi
Kimberly Kawasaki
Frances & Ford Kuramoto
Cheri & Edwin Maunahan
Leonor & Martin Mullis
Mike Murase & June Hibino
Erich Nakano & Sandra Viera
Yvonne & Alan Nishio
Lila & Brad Olson
Helen H. Ota & Michael C. Palma
Rafu Shimpo
Sansei Legacy
Bernadette & Tucker Sides
Nelson Toy & Emily Lee
Ruth & Bill Watanabe

In Memory of Ichiro Murakami
Masako & Richard Murakami

Vehicle Donations
Kimberlee Tachiki
Teruko & Alden Uyemura

In-kind Donations
B & B Toy Maker Inc.
Kei Sakita

Support LTSC through cash or in-kind gifts, car donations and other ways.

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