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The Story of Golden Age Village


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After working in the New York area for over 15 years, Dr. Frances Wu saw a great need to provide services for the Chinese older adults, especially for new immigrants from Hong Kong and Taiwan in the late 1960s. Because of language problems, cultural differences and the generation gap with their American-born children, they had difficulty adjusting in the United States. Upon relocating to Los Angeles and receiving her PhD in 1974 from the University of Southern California School of Social Work, Dr. Wu set on a very ambitious path to make her dream come true - to create culturally relevant social activities to promote a happy and healthy life for seniors. On her "miracle" path of only six years, she organized Chinese American Golden Age Association with the purpose of applying for a loan from HUD, and received strong support from influential members of the community.

Sensing the great need of this particular community, Golden Age Village (GAV) was one of only 14 projects approved by HUD in 1978 from a pool of 140 applicants from California. GAV was chosen over strong competitors, and received a loan of $4.5 million from HUD. This was in no small measure attributable to the doggedly fortitude of Dr. Wu.

Dr. Wu's path resulted in three successful projects: GAV; and two condominium projects: Golden Age Manor, and Golden Age Villa. Due to skyrocketing real estate values in southern California during the 1980s, the sale of the condominiums brought forth a healthy profit of $1.5 million, enabling the establishment of an endowed professorship and student scholarships at the University of Southern California School of Social Work to develop programs and services for Chinese seniors.

Present board members Iris Chi and Carrie Lew, along with the board of directors, jointly spearheaded the creation of a social services office within GAV. An integral part of GAV, this office provides indispensable services such as personal engagement to determine individual resident needs and enhance their well-being and independent living.

To this day, one can appreciate the attractively landscaped property, which has been consistently recognized as a model project and received various beautification awards.

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