Many of the services offered at the Karsh Family Social Service Center have been designed to address immediate problems, such as hunger, illness, and legal issues. Once those immediate needs have been addressed, the Center will continue to provide a one-stop location where each client can develop an ongoing relationship with dedicated professionals.
We serve anyone in need for free or at very low cost. We provide an integrated model of care and reliable, talented, trained volunteers who want to help. Our clients range from children to young adults to seniors. The Koreatown community, the Karsh Center’s home, is extremely diverse, with an estimated 25 percent of families living below the federal poverty line, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The county estimates that one in three adults in Koreatown go hungry some of the time, with 38 percent unable to afford dental care. An estimated 27 percent of children and 20 percent of adults are obese and suffer from diabetes or related health problems.
The Karsh Center’s core offerings include dental and vision care, pro bono legal services, a food pantry, support groups for people experiencing loss and trauma, and ESL classes. Our expectation is that the initial services will expand to include parenting advice, support for those caring for the elderly, diabetes prevention, literacy programming, and more.
Food Pantry: The Temple’s Leanse Ratner Family Food Pantry regularly distributes nutritionally balanced groceries to 250 families each week, thanks to provisions purchased through the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and HopeNet. For pantry patrons, the Karsh Center, courtesy of QueensCare, features onsite nurses who provide blood pressure monitoring, flu shots, and other preventive services.
HOURS: 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Sundays
Volunteers: click here to sign up
- Dental Care: In collaboration with the Temple, the Korean Health Education Information & Research Center (KHEIR) provides comprehensive dental care for children and adults in the center’s state-of-the-art facility.
- Vision Care: Also through our collaboration, the Korean Health Education Information & Research Center (KHEIR) offers comprehensive eye care, including vision testing and an eyeglass dispensary, for children and adults.
- Legal Aid: For the first time in Los Angeles, six pro bono legal organizations are working together on a rotating basis to deliver comprehensive legal services daily. Advice and support on issues such as housing rights, immigration, guardianship, and more will be provided. Staff attorneys will work alongside our volunteer attorneys to serve clients free of charge.
- Book Distribution: In the Karsh Center waiting room, the Book Foundation provides free new books for children to take home, with the aim of promoting daily reading. Volunteers are on hand to read to children and discuss with parents and guardians the benefits of reading aloud.
ESL/Civics: Asian Americans Advancing Justice, along with the public library, hosts a 12-week (two times/week) course for legal permanent residents applying for citizenship. The course is taught in English and Korean, but others who have substantial English skills can participate. You must be pre-screened and register for the course. As a student in the course, you will also have the ability to be assigned a native English speaking “buddy” with whom to practice your language skills.
ESL Classes: English Language Center offers an 8-week course to help clients learn and practice the English language. Classes are offered for both beginning and intermediate students.
Contact Us: (213) 401-4651 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Koreatown is home to wonderful, proven providers of comprehensive services. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we have chosen to collaborate with these organizations to bring their services to the Karsh Center. And we have challenged them to create new and innovative programs tailored to our clients. We acknowledge the importance of trust between client and provider and anticipate that these organizations will act as trusted liaisons for the clients they have served for so many years.
“Our House Grief Support Center is excited to be collaborating with the Karsh Family Social Service Center to expand our grief support services eastward. We are now serving children and Spanish-speaking adults in the Mid-City/Koreatown area. Having a home base at the Karsh Center will be essential for our continued growth. An attractive part of our collaboration is the potential for Wilshire Boulevard Temple congregants to find meaning in a variety of our volunteer roles, such as co-leading grief support groups and helping to organize events small and large.”
Michele F. Prince, LCSW, MA in Jewish Communal Services
Our House Grief Support Center
Wilshire Boulevard Temple has a long history of community service. The Karsh Family Social Service Center will become the nexus for existing and new services, as well as annual programs to help people in need. In addition to the food pantry, vision and dental care, pro bono legal aid, and support groups to assist with loss and trauma, those services and programs will include Build-a-Bike, a daylong event where we assemble bikes for delivery to underserved kids; The Big Give, the annual gathering of volunteers who prepare and distribute Thanksgiving meals to feed 4,000 of our hungry neighbors; Jews with Tools, a day volunteers dedicate to help build housing for low-income residents, and many more.
Bikes for Tykes
Remember your first bike? How would you like to give an L.A. child a first bike, and all of the fun, health, and independence a new bike can mean? Form a team with fellow congregants and assemble bikes and present them, along with helmets and locks, to deserving kids. Register >
The Big Give
On the day of The Big Give, we assemble 1,000 complete Thanksgiving dinners-for-four and distribute them on the spot to some our city’s most needy families. Your entire family is welcome to participate; we have great activities for kids.
By cooking and serving a hot sit-down meal, Temple adults and teens help make Christmas a more joyful day for many trying to transition out of homelessness
Jews with Tools
Help build a home for a deserving Los Angeles family. Habitat for Humanity provides the tools and the real estate. You supply the time, labor, and love.
Disaster Response Team
When natural disasters strike, we’re fixed on the news and want to help. Physical and financial donations are essential, but it can’t stop there. That’s why we’re building a Disaster Response Team — so we can be on the ground in the days and weeks after a disaster, responding in a meaningful way to the needs of those affected.