The following story was written by Joon Bang, Executive Director of the Korean American Coalition-Los Angeles; Partner of HACLA
7 Days, 328 Applications, 442 Calls
I have a story to share with you.
In the past week, KAC helped 328 low-income community members apply to get on the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) Section 8 Wait List. We had over 442 calls and met people from all walks of life.
From a Bronze medal veteran who was stationed not too far from where I grew up as a child to a senior citizen who lost touch with her children years ago, the stories we heard were inspiring, at times heartbreaking, and moving.
Yesterday was our last day supporting Section 8 applications for the community, and one of the last people we helped was a mother who walked in with her son. She was unable to speak so she wrote on a tablet to communicate with me, and I'd like to share with you her note (after receiving her permission to share):
"I'm unable to speak because I just received throat surgery. I'm concerned about my son, he's mentally challenged and hasn't been able to do anything for the past 25 years. I'm 78 years old and I worry about what will happen with rent prices increasing. Will you help us so that even when I pass on my son is able to get assistance with housing? I don't know what to do, we live together in a bachelor unit without a kitchen. Can you help us get into low income housing? Thank you. :)"
It took me a while to look up and meet her eyes, because I felt my heart tear and tears swelled in my eyes. As a son, I think about my own mother, never fully appreciating her sacrifices, the heartache I've put her through during my rebellious years, and often talking her love for granted.
We serve the community, because as hard as it is, these are the moments that inspires us to be a better community. These are the moments that ignite the fire to continue to advocate on behalf of the voiceless among us.
I would like to thank and acknowledge the 16 volunteers who dedicated themselves to making a difference last week: Kay Kwang, Peter Lee, Seung Yoo, Regina Suh, Yeena Lee, Sehwa Yoon, Aya Ichida, Shanna Lim, Jackie Kim, Mique Hwang, Genesis Nochez, Evette Kim, Yonah Hong, Susie Oh, Cristina Hwang, and Audrey Jang.
Thank you for supporting the Korean American Coalition and being part of our community.
Korean American Coalition-Los Angeles
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