The Korean Resource Center (KRC) is encouraged by the recent conversations between various stakeholders that are responsible for, impacted by, and concerned about the grave homeless situation in the city of Los Angeles. KRC maintains the position that it is most important to respond with humanity and care for those who suffer from being poor and friendless. This is a time when community support, not division, is most needed.
Navigating the fear and anxiety that people have about those without housing is always complicated. However, one of the persistent realities of addressing the lack of affordable and decent housing--alongside the deprivation of essential resources, physical and psychological hardship, and the social stigma faced by those in such situations--is that there is no singular ideal solution that is satisfactory to all.
This is why KRC wants to give voice to the fact that Korean Americans recognize the complexity of the problem the entire City faces, and that our community must play a role in creating a model for other places struggling with similar difficulties. Our community has been asked to help because the need is manifest in our neighborhood and the space already exists.
As the Korean American community matures, we will naturally experience opportunities and challenges. The decisions that we make to respond to the latter are the foundations from which we can further build. Koreatown has a chance to demonstrate a willingness to help and represent the interests of the whole while also acknowledging our own. This is the time for community solidarity, and the organizations that have stepped forward are building that needed unity.
Community conflict only drains the resources that we need for other critical actions. We have an understanding of how hard transitions are when it comes to immigrants who come from Korea to pass through a safe space like Koreatown. We should also extend the same understanding to those who might be in similar transitions in their lives, even if they do not share the same stories.
KRC supports the City of Los Angeles in its efforts to relieve the hardship of living on the streets and provide space for rest, care, and transition. We are aware that this new resource will bring potential for conflict but we also believe that it will advance human dignity. As a community organization, our focus will be to offer assistance, monitor events and issues, and work with those in the City responsible to keep safety and sanitation in good order. We also recognize that Koreatown is populated by many who do not identify as Korean American and note that any volunteers who support the creation of a safe space for those without a home will find a partner in us. We can build a model response, and KRC promises to be among those who reply with heart, head, and hands.
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