Community Highlights, get to know the diverse Asian Pacific Islander communities across the state of Minnesota
by Sandy Kwan
Korean Service Center
Photo credits to Korean Service Center
In the 1970’s, a large wave of new Korean immigrants moved to Minnesota settling in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. The affordable housing in the neighborhood was ideal for the young immigrants studying at the nearby University of Minnesota or surrounding colleges. Slowly Minnesota’s Korean population diversified to include blue-collared workers and the Korean population became the second largest immigrating group in Minnesota in the late 1970’s. Since 1989, many Koreans who immigrated to Minnesota received ESL and citizenship classes from Korean Service Center (KSC). Over time, the services at KSC have developed to serve the growing number of families and the elderly Koreans living in Minnesota.
As the first wave of Korean students in Minnesota have graduated and moved on to become professionals, they have settled in the surrounding suburbs while the elderly population stayed in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. These elders cited Korean Service Center’s culturally specific assisted living program as the reason for staying in the area. Currently, over 100 Korean elders who reside in the Riverside Plaza and Cedar Minneapolis Public Housing receive bi-lingual and culturally specific program services including, two Korean meals daily, weekly nurse visits, housekeeping services and recreational and social activities. The elderly also have the Peace Garden to offer as a positive and productive outlet for their physical, mental and spiritual health.
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