LTSC Community Development Corporation
For over 30 years LTSC has been serving the Japanese/Japanese American community in the Greater Los Angeles area as the only regional provider of bilingual and bicultural social services. LTSC reaches 18,000 people each year. A significant proportion of our clients come to us from the broader Japanese/Japanese American community members who seek services such as child abuse prevention, consumer education, senior se … Read MoreFor over 30 years LTSC has been serving the Japanese/Japanese American community in the Greater Los Angeles area as the only regional provider of bilingual and bicultural social services. LTSC reaches 18,000 people each year. A significant proportion of our clients come to us from the broader Japanese/Japanese American community members who seek services such as child abuse prevention, consumer education, senior services, case management, individual and family counseling, and cultural education for children and youth.
As part of our community development work, LTSC has made significant efforts to revitalize Little Tokyo into a vibrant community. LTSC has worked in partnership with other entities to designate a major portion of Little Tokyo as a National Historic Landmark. LTSC has renovated and upgraded three buildings in the historic district:
*San Pedro Firm Building. This 1923 building was threatened with demolition by the City but quick action by LTSC and community advocates saved the building. After a $3 million renovation, it now provides 42 units of safe, clean, affordable housing to low-income seniors and other residents, and commercial space to longstanding and new small businesses.
*Old Union Church Building. Immediately next-door to the San Pedro Firm Building is the historic Old Union Church, one of the earliest Japanese American Christian church structures built in Los Angeles. In the 1970’s, the church congregation relocated and the aging building suffered in the ensuing years from neglect. Again LTSC led the effort to raise $4 million to bring this building back to life and now this once abandoned space is The Union Center for the Arts. *The Historic Far East Building with its famous Far East CafÃ© is located in the heart of the Little Tokyo Historic District, bearing witness to the birth, growth and development of what was, during its heyday in the 1920s and 30s, the largest Japanese American community in the mainland United States. After suffering severe damage during the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the building’s future was uncertain, possibly taking with it all of its history. LTSC was able to save the building to keep this part of Little Tokyo’s history alive. *Casa Heiwa. Additionally, in 1996 LTSC completed the first new family-oriented housing project to be built in Little Tokyo in over 70 years. Through LTSC’s community organizing efforts we have established relationships with Little Tokyo residents and have taught them to collectively and formally represent their concerns. Moreover, we have worked with residents to develop a model for community involvement in planning. With our support and guidance, the residents have lobbied for two crosswalks, a post office and helped successfully fight to preserve affordable housing at a 100-unit building. They have also lobbied against a proposed 500-bed jail and have fought to limit bail bonds businesses in the area.