Pasadena Hostel



Opened by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) on January 15, 1945, the Pasadena Hostel was likely the first hostel to be established in the former restricted area of the West Coast for returning Japanese Americans. The hostel was located at 301 Kensington Place in the church house of the Japanese Union Church under the direction of Sarah Field assisted by Katherine Fanning. Located in a single building, its capacity was around twelve people. A June 1945 AFSC newsletter reported that the hostel was "used to capacity most of the time." The Pasadena Hostel was part of a coalition of eight hostels in the Los Angeles area—including both Buddhist and Christian run facilities—that offered uniform rates of $1 a day per person for room and board for the first ten days, rising to $1.50 after that and $2 for those who were employed. Guests were also required to do about forty-five minutes of housework per day.[1]

After a year, the AFSC ended its sponsorship as of January 15, 1946. The reestablished Japanese Union Church resumed use of the facility, which it continued to use for lodging on an informal basis.[2]

Authored by Brian Niiya, Densho

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Footnotes

  1. Rocky Shimpo, Feb. 5, 1945, 1; American Friends Service Committee, Japanese-American Relations Committee, Information Bulletin Number 16, June 10, 1945, Online Archive of California, accessed on Mar. 2, 2015 at http://www.oac.cdlib.org/view?docId=ft6b69n9gt;NAAN=13030&doc.view=frames&chunk.id=d0e2293&toc.depth=1&toc.id=d0e2277&brand=oac4; Pacific Citizen, July 28, 1945, 8, accessed on Mar. 2, 2015 at http://www.pacificcitizen.org/digitalarchives/assets/images/full/PCN_19450728_008.jpg.
  2. American Friends Service Committee, Japanese-American Relations Committee, Information Bulletin Number 17, February 20, 1946, Online Archive of California, accessed on Mar. 2, 2015 at http://www.oac.cdlib.org/view?docId=ft6b69n9gt;NAAN=13030&doc.view=frames&chunk.id=d0e2421&toc.depth=1&toc.id=d0e2382&brand=oac4.