Building Community, Hip Hop, and the Golden State Warriors

Families at the Pings dressed in costume on Halloween day.
A special visit to Chinatown by Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson (back row) to unveil this year's Lunar New Year uniform

As we gear up for the management of Ping Yuen and Ping Yuen North properties (collectively known as “the Pings”) under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, Chinatown Community Development Center has been meeting with residents in the Pings to learn more about their needs and develop programs in response to them.

Chinatown CDC will continue to work with the Ping Yuen Residents Improvement Association (PYRIA) in their struggle to improve housing and safety conditions in the Pings. Currently, Chinatown CDC staff is hard at work to make the transition as smooth as possible. Communication is key – meeting with residents one-on-one and getting to know them better through social activities and programs for families and their children.

At the Pings, we have a fairly mixed diversity of African Americans, Latinos, Chinese, and other ethnic groups. We want all of our families to feel that they are part of the community and would like to ensure that there are activities and programs to meet the varied interests of the residents and to break down the isolation that some residents feel.

This summer, Chinatown CDC offered our first Hip Hop Dance Class, where 15 kids learned to dance twice a week for five weeks. At the end of the course, the kids performed for Mayor Ed Lee and received certificates of completion. We hosted a barbeque for families to showcase their kids dancing talents.

And how exciting for the youth to see the Golden State Warriors beat the Houston Rockets (123-110)! Many of the youth are avid basketball fans and have never attended a Warrior’s game before. It was a thrilling experience for them to see their favorite players on the court. That evening we learned that our youth are very kind and generous, helping to watch out for each other, and sharing stadium treats with the kids who did not have money to purchase snacks.

We also invited a mom and her 6 year old son with special needs to attend the game. The mother was almost in tears when she realized she was actually going to a Warriors game, and didn’t believe it until the car was pulling off. We saw her the next day and she was still smiling and excited from the night before.

Another six year old, just recently lost his father and grandmother within a year and how wonderful it was him to sit with Nate (Resident staff) cheering on the Warriors together, challenging fouls, and yelling at the Rockets. During the game, he shared with Nate that his father had died.

The youth were very thankful and appreciative for the trip; we had to leave a bit early, and at first some of the youth seemed frustrated, but they understood, and appreciated they got to see the game first hand. (Chinese Hospital donated 20 tickets for the youth to see the game.)

— Candy Smallwood, Senior Community Organizer

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