A History of Caring

In 1974, UPAC’s Founding Executive Director, Beverly Yip, and six leaders of  the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities (Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Samoan, and Guamanian) united and pioneered the way for UPAC’s first city of San Diego grant.  Through this $36,000 grant,  UPAC established a cultural adjustment and language assistance program to access community services.  At that time, no single Asian group was large enough or vocal enough to pursue the basic services desperately needed by its impoverished, ill, elderly and limited English speaking members.

As refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia began arriving in San Diego with multiple health, behavioral health, educational and housing needs, UPAC developed culturally and linguistically appropriate programs to address their special needs and emerged as the only bilingual, bi-cultural, multi-service agency for San Diego’s Asian populations. For the first 16 years Executive Director Beverly Yip provided unwavering commitment and leadership.

To see additional information on UPAC’s history:  UPAC, 40 Years of History, 1974-2014 VIDEO


Under the guidance of  President & CEO Margaret Iwanaga Penrose since 1989, today UPAC reaches over 34,000 San Diego clients through the myriad of services and programs which address issues in:

  • Mental Health
  • Addiction, Treatment & Recovery/ Homeless Outreach
  • Community Engagement & Business Development
  • Housing Counseling
  • Health Promotion/ Covered California Enrollment
  • Cultural Competency Training & Education