LOS ANGELES — One of the city’s longest running Filipino programs is coming back to its roots, relaunching to focus on Philippine causes and culture.
For over 35 years, Filipino American Service Group Inc., or FASGI, has been on the forefront of many issues in Los Angeles.
While it recently lost its funding for homeless shelter services last year, the program is now coming back, hoping to be a cultural epicenter for LA’s Historic Filipinotown.
“After we closed the shelter, this really came about because we were wondering how or what we could do or what we should do with facility,” said Yey Coronell, Executive Director of FASGI. “Now that we had to close the shelter and we thought about it, and basically we believe we should give the facility back to the community in a way that would really serve the Filipino American community.”
The rooms and walls of this building once used as temporary homeless housing are now changing. Community organizations are now setting up shop in these rooms, while the walls are becoming a space for Fil-Am artists.
“For fun. Masaya ang ginagawa ko. Parang bata, ten years younger,” said Rafael Maniego.
For Associate Director John Swing, who was born and raised just around the corner from FASGI, it’s a chance to give back to his neighborhood.
“I grew up knowing this area and being a part of it, now I think I can really push an idea along with everybody else that would help us out with this organization, to really stimulate as an incubator program to really invest in the businesses out here… especially with artists and especially with a lot of the immigrants that are coming through,” said Swing.
FASGI looks to officially relaunch their new services, which includes business coaching, and cultural programs in time for Filipino American History Month in October.
In the meantime, they are still continuing their projects of helping Filipinos acquire citizenship.