Community organization.
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2014.036.008 Oral History Interview with Joseph Chu, April 26, 2004

Joseph Wah Chu is a Chinese immigrant from Toishan County, Guangdong Province, China born in 1933. He grew up in Guangzhou and Hong Kong before eventually moving to the United States in 1965. In the United States, he worked in different cities such as San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City as a waiter and office worker. Joseph would eventually settle in New York City’s Chinatown, citing better job opportunities and existing friendships in NYC. In 1978, Joseph started working at the New York Chinatown Citizen Center, where he assisted senior citizens with applications for government benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid, and senior housing. He recalls the changes over time in Chinatown, from lowering crime to increasing difficulty finding housing for seniors. During 9/11, Joseph was taking a group of seniors out on a field trip. He recalls the transportation shutdown that made his group go to New Jersey to double get back to New York. He describes the reaction and also the impact of the attacks on the senior population. Joseph also talks about government assistance provided following the 9/11 attacks, which ranged from rent/business assistance to free air purifiers and air conditioners. The interview then turns to a discussion about Chinatown’s economic recovery and the changing senior demographics in Chinatown and concludes with a mention of ongoing issues related to housing.