For decades, the Chinatown area near downtown Los Angeles served as the primary enclave for recently arrived Chinese immigrants and refugees -- the vast majority of whom did not speak English. Then, up to the mid-1970's, Chinatown did not have the proliferation and variety of Chinese-speaking services and businesses it does today. Those Chinese immigrants who did not speak English often remained isolated, with no resources to meet their health and welfare needs. With limited English language skills, many in the Chinatown community were unable to access public and private services available to the general public much less take advantage of the wider economic opportunities available in the mainstream society beyond the borders of Chinatown.

A small group of community volunteers recognized the need to address the problems of Chinese immigrants. From this initial recognition of need, evolved today's general concept of the Chinatown Service Center (CSC) -- that is to provide services and resources to help all immigrants and refugees of the community to adjust to and participate in life in the United States.

The actual roots of the CSC go back to 1971, when the Chinese Methodist Church hired a bilingual worker who worked at a small office in the church and counseled many newly arrived Chinese. Over the next four years, these early efforts attracted bilingual volunteers to assist its growing number of clients and its work gained broader community support.

In 1975, CSC moved from its Church affiliation and was incorporated as a non-profit organization dedicated to community service. Shortly thereafter, the CSC became a United Way agency and received an allocation to continue its work. Later that year, we were awarded our first government grant from the City of Los Angeles to establish an employment training program.

Over the next decade, additional needs arose in the community. First, there was a marked proliferation in number of Southeast Asian immigrants and refugees -- Cambodian and Vietnamese. Second, the geographical service area expanded dramatically -- eastward into adjacent Monterey Park, Alhambra, and the San Gabriel Valley. CSC responded by expanding our staff and providing services far beyond the borders of Chinatown.

Locations Timeline

In March 1985, CSC began occupying part of the first floor of the newly built, low income senior housing building called Cathay Manor. That location at 600 North Broadway in Chinatown, consists of approximately 5,600 square feet of office, training and counseling facilities. In four years, CSC's programs had outgrown the Cathay Manor space.

In 1990, the Board of Directors took the bold step of purchasing 8,000 sq. ft. of space located on the fourth floor of Alpine Towers, 767 North Hill Street, about two blocks from the Cathay Manor site. Currently the site houses CSC's employment and counseling programs, citizenship classes and a computer lab, and CSC's administrative offices.

In 1991, CSC completed improvements at Alpine Towers, establishing it as CSC's "main office". By April, remodeling of the Cathay Manor space was completed, doubling the size of our health clinic and expanding our social service program space. That established the Cathay Manor site as our "branch office".

In 1992, CSC opened a small part time office in Monterey Park, located on Atlantic Blvd. After three years at that location, CSC's Monterey Park Office moved to a more accessible site at Chandler and Garvey. The office offers assistance for the elderly who are living at home.

In 1998, CSC's "branch office" moved to Alpine Towers consolidating all of CSC's services under one roof.

In 2001, CSC opened a Youth Center at 727 North Broadway to expand its services to youths.

In 2004, CSC remodeled its clinic space to provide dental services.

In 2007, CSC’s clinic was designated a Federally Qualified Health Clinic (FQHC) and changed its name to CSC Community Health Center (CSC CHC) and began the transition to upgrading its records system to state-of-the-art electronic medical records shortly after that.

Anticipating the changing health care needs of its community and noticing that a significant number of its patients were travelling from the San Gabriel Valley (SGV) into Chinatown for its clinical services CSC opened its first satellite Community Health Center site on Garfield Ave. in Alhambra (320 South Garfield Avenue, Suite 118) in 2010 to offer primary care medical services and insurance eligibility assistance. 

With American Reinvestment And Recovery Act funds and an additional federal capital grant, in 2011 CSC remodeled and expanded its main office clinic to add three treatment rooms, one dental operatory, a larger waiting room, and overall improvements to patient flow.

In 2015, CSC Community Health Center opened a second Dental Clinic in the City of Monterey Park at 850 South Atlantic Blvd., Suite 303.

In 2016, CSC Community Health Center opened a third Dental Clinic and a second Behavioral Health Division in the City of Alhambra at 320 South Garfield Avenue Suite 126 and Suite 202 to expand one stop Community Health Clinic services in San Gabriel Valley district.

In 2017, CSC Community Health Center another new Medical and Dental clinic service expanded to City of San Gabriel at 555-559 W. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel, 91776.    

We added a Medical Clinic in the City of Los Angeles and expanded Optometry service in Chinatown in 2018.      


keep in touch / Email: info@cscla.org