Fil-Ams in the financial sector outreach to Southern California’s homeless population

LOS ANGELES —  With about 58,000 homeless people living in Los Angeles county –  tents like these have scattered in various neighborhoods — with advocates trying to fight evictions of encampments like they did in Echo Park recently.

The face of homelessness has also changed with a growing number of college students living in cars and crashing on couches.

In a survey of 86,000 students, the Hope Center has found that 18 percent of students at two-year colleges and 16 percent of those at four-year universities are affected by homelessness. 

As southland lawmakers and community leaders continue to tackle the pressing issue of homelessness, these Filipinos in the financial sector are trying to help out. 

The Mabuhay Credit Union which opened some 9 months ago, is focused on getting the community involved.

“By inviting the community to help out there’s that ownership in helping solve the problem.” 

Clothes, food and personal hygiene items collected by the group will be distributed to several colleges in the South Bay Area.

Jon Hernandez runs Nikkei Credit Union.

“Once we found out about the issue on homelessness in colleges, we just felt the need to do something and it’s our way of trying to get to the community involved, it’s really easy to assist in this matter by bringing in clothing and food, suits or professional outwear so these students can go to their interviews in the future.”

And as they hope these goods will give some immediate relief to those struggling, they’re also providing long term help by educating them on credit establishment, limiting of fees and other financial literacy tips.

“Financial literacy especially with the collegiate for the young in general its something we take really really seriously and we have programs, that we try to nip these issues in the bud especially within our community, we’re not necessarily the most financially savvy community,” said Docdocil.

With homelessness, as an ongoing issue and with no end in sight, Mabuhay and Nikkei credit unions have committed to keep their services for the homeless around for as long as they’re needed. 


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