Established in July 1971, Kimochi, Inc. or Kimochi Kai as it was largely known in the early days, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit senior service agency based in San Francisco’s historic Japantown neighborhood. The word “kimochi” means “feelings” in Japanese. For our organization, “feelings” for our elders - respect, gratitude, and love - are expressed through services that enable each generation to age with dignity, pride, support, independence and friendship.
It all started when Sansei (third generation Japanese Americans) began helping the Issei (first generation Japanese Americans) in San Francisco Japantown. These Sansei realized that because of language and cultural barriers, the Issei were not able to utilize mainstream services. They helped seniors by providing them with information and assistance in applying for government and health benefits and offered transportation services and walking escorts to make sure seniors could leave and return safely to their homes. This younger generation’s commitment to the Issei’s care and well-being inspired the formation of Kimochi, Inc. as a multi-service senior service organization.
Organizers, participants, and volunteers would gather at Kimochi Lounge, Kimochi’s first site at 1581 Webster St., on the Webster St. Bridge. The Lounge was where Issei’s could rest, relax, get the latest news in the community, meet friends, and have tea. It still operates as a Kimochi site today. As the Lounge’s popularity grew, it was clear more space was needed to expand and breathe. Committed to remaining in San Francisco’s Japantown, one of only three Japantowns in the United States, staff and volunteers were willing to work in places that were not ideal, as long as it meant keeping Kimochi’s mission alive.
Over the years, Kimochi has been quick to identify the needs of the senior population and obtained funding for new programs - nutrition, transportation, social services. In 1974, Kimochi applied for a grant and was awarded funding from the California Department on Aging to implement a Japanese hot meals program for seniors.
In 1983, Kimochi completed the Kimochi Home building project at 1531 Sutter St. and opened its doors for residential/respite care for 20 seniors and adult social day care for 40 seniors. In 2012, Kimochi purchased a site in San Mateo to provide services and support for seniors and families outside of San Francisco. In 2016, following extensive renovations, Kimochi San Mateo received its licensing approval to open as a non-ambulatory Residential Care Famility for the elderly. In 2017, we were awarded funds from the JA Community Foundation to provide home delivered meals to seniors in San Mateo County.
Today, Kimochi occupies five sites - four in San Francisco and one in San Mateo.
The mission of Kimochi, Inc. is to provide a continuum of culturally-sensitive programs and services to all seniors and their families to preserve their dignity and independence, with a focus on the Japanese American and Japanese speaking community.
Thank You to Our Agency Sponsors
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