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 for Adults, Older Adults, Children & Adolescents
Treating mental health issues, practicing innovative mental health reintegration strategies and promoting mental health wellness for all ages
- Addiction, Treatment & Rehabilitation Services for all ages
- Economic Development: Encouraging entrepreneurship through small business development and education. Home Ownership Counseling to first time home buyers and foreclosure prevention education to existing
- Child & Youth Development in STEM learning, business exposure, work readiness, and community involvement
- Addressing community and domestic violence through parental, child, couple and family relationship building, education, empowerment and community pride
- Cultural Competency Training & Education
- Covered California Enrollment Entity