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Chinatown leaders give $150K to SRO residents to support businesses hurt by Central Subway

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Pink vouchers were issued to residents by Rose Pak Community Fund on Tuesday to support Chinatown businesses that have been affected by Central Subway construction. (Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez/S.F. Examiner)

Chinatown leaders are handing out $150,000 worth of vouchers to more than 400 residents of the neighborhood in time for the Lunar New Year.

The Rose Pak Community Fund, founded to honor the memory of the late community organizer, disbursed the vouchers Tuesday. Pak died in 2016.

Residents will only be able to spend the vouchers at designated businesses that suffered impacts due to the nearby Central Subway construction, which has suffered a year-long delay and impacted Chinatown shops large and small.

SEE RELATED: Chinatown to net $450,000 in aid after Central Subway delay, but some say it’s not enough

“This is our way of taking care of our own,” said Goretti Liu, vice president of the Rose Pak Community Fund, at a Tuesday press conference on Sacramento Street.

The organization raised funds from myriad organizations, including the San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Academy of Art University, Five Point Holdings, the Lui Foundation, PG&E, Uber and locals like restaurateur Nick Bovis.

The vouchers are printed pink tickets gathered in packets worth $340, disbursed to residents of single-room-occupancy hotels represented by the SRO Families Collaborative who live in Chinatown. Each business received $4,200 for the vouchers, including dim sum bakeries, dry food stores and fresh food markets, according to the Rose Pak Community Fund.

The program is administered by the Chinatown YMCA, with support from the Chinatown Community Development Center and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

A long line of residents extended down Sacramento street to pick up the vouchers on Tuesday afternoon, which will be valid through April 30.

Former Mayor Willie Brown, who attended the event, said the effort to aid families honors the memory of Pak.

“It’s the kind of effort Rose would make,” he said.

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