On May 20, KYCC held its Third Annual Koreatown Community Cleanup to beautify the streets of Koreatown’s neighborhoods. Over 250 volunteers—community members, KYCC program participants and staff, and youth—assembled at John Liechty Middle School in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

“KYCC is incredibly grateful to our community for joining us—even in 90-degree heat—in making our community a safer and more beautiful place to live,” said Evelyn Balderas, KYCC Community Education Specialist, who helped to organize the event.

KYCC’s Prevention Education also used the event to gather surveys on the most pertinent issues in the community, such as community safety, health, mental health, the need for social services and youth development. Later, around a dozen groups dispersed into the streets—both main thoroughfares and side streets—around John Liechty Middle School to sweep debris and pick up trash. This area was identified as a “hot spot” for graffiti, loitering and trash in a KYCC Prevention Education survey on environmental factors for substance abuse.

The program reconvened at the intersection of 5th and Union Streets, where a resource fair was assembled as part of a collaborative that includes KYCC, the Senior Living Center and The Dream Center. Cleanup participants also enjoyed lunch, courtesy of Gus’s Drive-In. Starbucks also donated free coffee.

The annual cleanup began in 2015. Community partners include KYCC’s Bridge and YDAPP, Children’s Institute, Inc., Manos Unidas, the UC Irvine Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, The LINE Hotel, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, El Centro del Pueblo, UCLA Community Service, MCI/Belong Campaign, Open Bank, the Filipino community and John Liechty Middle School Community Service.