Homelessness

After losing his wife and children, Ron Clayton, a Fontana native, faces health challenges, which lead him to homelessness. His story highlights the link between health and homelessness, and the need for better access to healthcare for those experiencing homelessness.

Father Yohan Kim, 68, a priest at St. James Episcopal Church, rented a house in the mid-2010s and began living with 16 Korean-American homeless people. Since then, Father Kim has provided food and shelter to more than 150 people. His church members and devotees are supportive of his efforts, but he hasn’t received any funding from the government including the city of Los Angeles.

Disadvantaged by language barriers and immigration restrictions, unhoused Korean Americans are in the "blind spot" of resources and organizations. Korean American homeless shelters often do not receive government funding because they are not officially registered. As a result, they rely on donations from the Korean-American community and the support of a handful of volunteers.

Mixing systemic racism, low wages, unemployment and resulting poverty is a troubling recipe for long-term – in many cases generational – food insecurity. Armed with the knowledge that food insecurity can lead to poor outcomes and impact the community’s overall health and well-being, Black organizations have taken the lead in addressing the multi-layered issue.

Community Safety