A Documentary on Korean Homeless People

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Second generation Korean-American college students have produced a documentary film centering on homelessness in the community.

The 2017 interns at the Korean-American Coalition have made the film as a part of their efforts to fundraise for the homeless Koreans. They filmed various locations, including spas, nonprofit organizations and homeless facilities, over the last three months to chronicle the lives of Korean-American homeless people.

The documentary focuses on raising awareness on Korean-American homelessness, which is more prevalent than what one may imagine.

“Koreans are culturally prone to worrying more about what others think of them, so it’s rare to see a Korean homeless person admit that he or she is, in fact, homeless,” said Yo-han Kim at St. James Episcopal Church, who has been running a homeless facility for nine years. “Many of them rarely seek help.”

One Korean homeless man, who is currently staying at a community shelter, said in the documentary: “It’s difficult to seek help because of shame, lack of information and language barrier.”

Audrey Chang, who took part in the project as a junior at Pomona College, said: “I had no idea there were so many Korean homeless people even though I’ve lived in Koreatown since I was born.”

The funds raised through the project will go directly into investing in Korean homeless shelters and also research work to collect data on homelessness. The documentary is available on the Korean-American Coalition website (www.kacla.org).

By Ina Chung