The state of emergency brought our skid row initiative to a screeching halt for about a full month. We’re back preparing for a relaunch.
By Susan Park
It is a distribution problem. It is a problem of having a large enough commercial kitchen and labor costs. It is a problem of how non-profit funds are not spent on actually providing food. I want to change this model.
I changed my restaurant operating hours. I’m closed Monday-Thursday to work on my food bank initiatives. Open from 11 am -9 pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The stove we ordered for the unhoused Korean seniors was delivered yesterday. A new volunteer came to help me today. I drop off about 4-5 times a week.
Covid-19 put us in deep triage mode. Our giving days are 7 days a week now. Our capacity has increased four times since we first started. We have more community and nonprofit partners to distribute through.
Please email me at smokingkorean AT gmail DOT com if you want to volunteer or donate goods. I’m based out of my restaurant near USC.
You can donate via venmo to @gidrareturns (Camilla Zadi) or paypal Kamilah.zadi AT gmail DOT com
25 Korean seniors on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. I make two trays of Korean food or I donate ingredients or personal care items. I also donate to other Asian Americans on the brink. For reasons of their privacy, I cannot say something about everyone I help and it’s inappropriate to take photos of people at random times of giving.
The money for my Skid Row initiatives does not come from the fundraiser for Korean American seniors and Asian Americans.
They come from a different fund. You can donate via venmo to 424-223-3526 @Farid-Zadi
Skid Row with Down But Not Out on Thursday evenings with Down But Not Out.
Monday taco cart with Operation Kids Next Door. We did this once this past Monday. But we need more help to do it twice a month on Mondays.
Donations to AA4H.org (Asian Americans for Housing) and AA4EJ.org (Asian Americans for Environmental Justice) can be made payable to KIWA (fiscal non-profit sponsor) and mailed to: 1436 West Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles Ca 90007.
My name is Susan Park. I have lived in Los Angeles for over 45 years. I am well known member of the community here with multiple measures of accountability and transparency.
There will be more concerted efforts to help unhoused Asian Americans. I have partners who will start a work team with me. Beyond helping just a few people, we want to have a 24 hour hotline, donation and distribution location, our own shelters and affordable housing. We want to help other Asian American groups and other groups of Americans to help our own. All of us or none of us. We want to create social movements. It takes a village.
Unhoused Asian Americans have different challenges. Language and cultural barriers are often impossible to overcome. Unhoused people have strong cultural preferences for food just like housed people do. Becoming unhoused does not make folx lose qualities and desires that all human beings have. It is vital to create Asian American specific groups to meet the unique challenges of our unhoused community members.
I feel that it is very important to serve people with their dignity in mind. We care and share with the person in mind. We are here to serve them, not ourselves.
I also do a lot of coalition building in South Central Los Angles. I started a Black Asian Coalition and Black Latinx Coalition. I care about BIPOC. All of us, or none of us.
Sometimes I work through non-profits, sometimes I work with community partners. The non-profit industrial complex is a problem. Of course, there are good non-profits. But there are also many that exist to perpetuate the problems they are supposed to alleviate. As long as the problem persists, the non-profit office exists.
There are also some limitations with faith based non-profits helping those in need. Sometimes there are religious leaders who believe that people should suffer because it’s God’s will. Faith helps some people heal and faith can be complementary to some people in their path to healing. But mental health issues and grinding poverty can’t be prayed away. We also understand that god and religion are important to a lot of people and we respect that.
We firmly believe in solidarity. So we work with various organizations including religious ones whenever we can. We also believe that radical community building is possible when folx step up to the plate on their own and start building community coalitions.