Little Tokyo Embraces Housing for Homeless Veterans in Pricey DTLA Rental Market

Yoshio Nakamura, 93, survived Nazi artillery in Italy, upon returning from WW II he found his house was gone. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Yoshio Nakamura, 93, survived Nazi artillery in Italy, upon returning from WW II he found his house was gone. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Yoshio Nakamura knows what it’s like to lose a home. After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, the U.S. government forced his family and 120,000 others of Japanese descent from their West Coast residences into desolate camps.

The Rosemead native joined the U.S. Army and survived Nazi artillery in Italy, rising to staff sergeant with the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team. When he returned to California after the war, his house was gone. He has no idea what happened to it.

Now Nakamura, 93, is backing plans to provide long-term housing in Little Tokyo for veterans at risk of homelessness. “As vets get older, they need more care,” he said.

His Go For Broke National Education Center, which preserves and promotes the legacy of WWII veterans of Japanese ancestry, has joined with the Little Tokyo Service Center to develop a five-story building on leased city land that would house the center and as many as 70 affordable housing units.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

Grant Sunoo, left, and Erich Nakano, executives with the Little Tokyo Service Center, stand in the courtyard of an affordable housing project at Casa Heiwa in Little Tokyo. (Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Grant Sunoo, left, and Erich Nakano, executives with the Little Tokyo Service Center, stand in the courtyard of an affordable housing project at Casa Heiwa in Little Tokyo. (Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)