Enjoy a collection of inspiring stories that reflect how individuals worked to overcome challenges throughout 2018 and how LTSC continues to create Positive Change for People and Places.
Tickets are now on sale for the 13th Annual Sake on the Rocks. Support LTSC’s efforts to create Positive Change for People and Places with a night of sake, food and fun.
Friday, July 19, 7:00 – 10:00 pm
244 San Pedro St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Click here for pictures from Sake on the Rocks 2018
Click here for the Sake on the Rocks 2018 video
On Friday, May 17, LTSC announced the purchase of the former Umeya Rice Cake Company building located at 414 Crocker Street in Los Angeles with funding for the project provided by the Low Income Investment Fund.
The three-generation family-owned business, which closed its doors in 2017, remains a fond memory for many in the community. The owner’s decision to sell the property to LTSC means the site will remain an important facet in the ever-changing landscape of the Little Tokyo neighborhood. Rex Hamano, a family representative and the president of Umeya stated, “Our family business has been a part of the Little Tokyo neighborhood since 1918. Given Umeya’s history and the community who supported us for nearly 100 years, the two are forever inseparable.”
LTSC will redevelop the 34,766 sq. ft. site into a mixed-use, 100% affordable transit-oriented development project with space set aside to provide wraparound services for residents. “It is truly momentous that we can advance our mission of creating affordable housing at a site that is so significant to the history of Little Tokyo,” said Takao Suzuki, LTSC’s director of community economic development. “Once completed, this project will be the first 100% affordable housing development in Little Tokyo in over 20 years.”
The final project will provide approximately 120-150 units of affordable rental housing for low income individuals and families, with 50% set aside for permanent supportive housing. Hamano added, “We are truly excited to seeing the fruits of LTSC advancing their proud mission towards community revitalization and cultural preservation in Little Tokyo for generations to come.”
Carole and Keith Kimura with their K-Stands
Carol and Keith Kimura, graduates of LTSC’s Entrepreneur Training Program, are preparing to launch a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.
The Kimuras launched CK Dream in 2018, creating beautiful handcrafted wooden ukulele and guitar stands out of their garage in Gardena. With the guidance of LTSC small business counselor, Mariko Lochridge, the couple is now looking to grow and scale their business further and will soon be launching a Kickstarter campaign. Their goal of raising $30,000 will be seed money to purchase new equipment and hire part time staff to meet the increasing demand of orders.
Learn more about the K-Stand and the journey of Carol and Keith through the above video and mark your calendars for June 25 – the launch date of their Kickstarter campaign!
LTSC Staff gathered for the mural re-dedication ceremony
Former LTSC small business counselor, Nancy Kikuchi, has always been a part of the Little Tokyo tapestry. During her many years of service in Little Tokyo she volunteered for or supported LTSC, JACCC, Upper Crust Enterprises, JET Alumni of Southern California, the Koban and so many more. So it’s fitting that the Little Tokyo community gather together every year to honor Nancy at Little Tokyo Sparkle – a day that allows everyone to give back to the neighborhood by cleaning up the streets of Little Tokyo.
This year was extra special as the day included a re-dedication of the “Home is Little Tokyo” mural, including a plaque dedicated to Nancy. Nancy spearheaded the mural project, seeing it through to fruition in 2005. Her dedication to the community and boundless energy was always a driving force. Even though she’s no longer with us, she has left her mark throughout Little Tokyo.
Takao Suzuki, LTSC director of community economic development, worked with Nancy and remembers her fondly. “It’s people like Nancy…who have taught me that giving is a lot more important than receiving” noted Suzuki. “The mural serves as a reminder every day that we need to continue working to protect Little Tokyo, preserve its heritage and really promote its legacy.”
Casa Heiwa and Angelina youth enjoy a day of fun
On May 4, a beginners skateboarding workshop was held for LTSC’s Casa Heiwa and Angelina youth. The unique opportunity allowed LTSC staff to engage with those that may not always feel like they fit in. “It’s a challenge for us to outreach to youth with varying interests,” said LTSC’s assistant director of resident services, Tom Sogi.
The workshop was possible thanks to Kai Rosenthal who has volunteered his time on multiple occasions to support LTSC. “The youth had fun learning a new activity,” said Sogi. “It gives them more confidence and a feeling of satisfaction that they are not left out.”
Activities like this are just one of the many ways LTSC’s Resident Services team serves those living in our affordable housing buildings. Their work is an ongoing effort to create a safe space, provide opportunities and ensure everyone feels part of the LTSC community.
VITA Volunteer, Rosa Kawahira, answers tax questions
Every year, LTSC expands its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in an effort to serve more people in need. This tax season, LTSC had 12 trained and certified volunteers logging over 230 hours of tax assistance and completing over 270 tax returns. A total of 35 additional clients were assisted this year, meaning a total of 35 more refunds were collected.
Tax refunds go a long way in assisting individuals and families who are focused on building capacity and saving for their future. Never underestimate the impact volunteering can have and how you can help empower others.
LTSC’s Angelina Preschool hosted its annual open house, where the community was invited to learn more about its teachers and its curriculum. Children enjoyed educational demonstrations and hands-on crafts as part of the day’s activities. Seven families have since begun the process of enrolling their children into Angelina Preschool.
Angelina Preschool is always open and available to new students. For more information please visit Childcare & Early Childhood Education or call (213) 481-0227.
June 27 is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day. Read page 6 of the Spring Edition of Through the Seasonsopens PDF file to learn more about PTSD and its impact.
Thank you to all our supporters for your contributions last month!
Debra Nakatomi and Bob Miyamoto
Harold and Carol Iwata
Jessica Kanai Tateishi
Dr. and Mrs. Iwao Kawakami
Robert and Teresa Matsushima
Cooke and Elaine Sunoo
Nikki Kealalio Sutton
Gerald and Anne Yee
In Memory of Paul Nagano
In Memory of Jeannette Kyoko Sanderson
Emily and Dan Weaver
Walter and Carrie Morita
Marsha and Gary Watanabe
Debra Nakatomi and Bob Miyamoto
Akemi Arakaki and Takao Suzuki
Laura Blosser and Chris Argyros
Scott Ito and Nan Lee
Chester and Eileen Kido
Jessie Kikuchi and Brent Mori
Mike Murase and June Hibino
Bradley and Deanne Nii
Michael and Margie Odanaka
Mickie Okamoto and Geoffrey Tsudama
Grant Sunoo and Emily Maeda
Nikki Kealalio Sutton
Brian Niiya and Karen Umemoto
Woody, George, Yuko, The Mat West Co.
In Memory of Stanley Furuta
In Memory of Alice Kikkawa
Norm and Barbara Dondanville
Scott and Kari Johnson
Sharon and Allen Lee
In Memory of Denny Sunabe
Virginia Y Bonila
Bill Fujioka and Darlene Kuba
Trisha Murakawa and Warren Wong
Greg, Betty, Leanna and Kailene Ching
In Memory of Monica Quan
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