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KOREATOWN : Aid Group Digs In for the Long Haul

April 03, 1994|JAKE DOHERTY

The Korean American Food and Shelter Service has changed its address and name but not its goal of healing the community by reaching out to people of all backgrounds.

The organization, established to provide food and other essential services to victims of the 1992 riots, particularly Korean-speaking victims, soon expanded its services to anyone in need.

First in the parking lot of a church on Western Avenue and later from a converted house on Crenshaw Boulevard, volunteers distributed donated food, arranged transportation or found temporary shelter for people, often serving as many as 200 a day, said the Rev. Hyun Seung Yang, executive director.

"We thought it would just be a temporary service at first, but it grew into a full-time, multiethnic community service," Yang said. "Nowadays, no one can do it alone. We all need shalom--peace and sharing--in our daily life."

To reflect that philosophy, the organization has changed its English-language name to Shalom Community Center. Its Korean-language name remains the same.

After its lease expired at the Crenshaw Boulevard site, the organization was given office space at the Korean Community Center, 981 S. Western Ave. But food distribution has been temporarily suspended until storage space can be found, Yang said.

Information: Hyun Seung Yang, Young Ok Byon or Dennis Han at (213) 731-9777.

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