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The Characters

Janette Chang

Janette Chang

A native of New York City, Janette is looking to move with her husband and two school-aged children into a new residence in Chinatown. She and her husband are both college educated and have professional jobs in the Financial District. She needs at least two bedrooms, but would love separate rooms for each of her kids and space for a home office.

Hong Yee

Hong Yee

Hong, a recent immigrant from China, is looking for a new place to move with his wife and two daughters. For the past year, they have been living in a cramped apartment with his sister, her family, and his grandparents. Tensions are running high, so he is under a lot of pressure to find a new living arrangement. Because of his salary, low-income housing is a welcomed option. He needs at least two bedrooms, but his kids are tired of sharing a bedroom.

Mei Soohoo

Mei Soohoo

Mei moved to the United States 15 years ago on a family visa to help take care of her three grandchildren. She has been living with her son's family in Quincy, but would like to move to Chinatown to gain more independence and socialize with other seniors. She is on a fixed income, so finding an affordable unit is important. She would also like to move into a building where there are other seniors so that she can live close to friends.

Derrick Borden

Derrick Borden

Derrick, a finance professional, is looking to relocate to Chinatown. He recently completed his MBA at MIT, and was promoted to a new position downtown. In the past, he has lived in one-bedroom apartments, but would prefer to have an extra room to entertain his extended family, who often come to visit on the weekends.

Neha Patel

Neha Patel

Neha is a second-year medical student at Tufts University looking to move out of the dorms and live with two other med students in Chinatown. She wants to be able to wake up and roll to class. She is also looking to take advantage of the local nightlife and have some fun after long, tedious weeks of studying. Neither she nor her roommates want to share a room, so she is seeking a three-bedroom place, but, if necessary, she can share a room with her female roommate. She is hoping that splitting the rent three ways will help her save some extra cash to go out on the weekends.

Molly Sinclair

Molly Sinclair

Molly is a professional who has 7 years of experience working in upper management in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. She has two advanced degrees, an MBA and an MD, and she is looking for something in Boston where she now lives.

Joe Wong

Joe Wong

Joe is a father of 4 and is looking for a new job. He has been living in the U.S. for 15 years, ever since he and his family came from China to Boston. Although his primary language is Cantonese, he has picked up some English while working as restaurant waiter and supermarket cashier. However, he is not fluent and does not have writing skills, which makes it very difficult to find high-paying work to support his large family. He is hoping to gain some technical skills in his new job."

Chris Green

Chris Green

As a young professional who grew up in Boston, Chris is looking for the next step in his career. He has bachelor's degrees in accounting and biology and he has 5 years of previous experience working for various finance and and accounting firms in the area. He hopes he can find a mid or senior level position and continue working in financial services.

Mary Fong

Mary Fong

Mary is a recent immigrant from China. She speaks very little English, which is the her largest challenge when finding a job. She was able to find her first job in the U.S. through the referral of her aunt. The job was at a nursing home in Chinatown, where she helped care for the elderly, but ever since her job was cut, she has been on unemployment and searching for work. Mary wants to find something near her apartment in Chinatown so that she can be close to her two young children who stay with their grandmother during the day.

Victor Sanchez

Victor Sanchez

Victor is looking for his first part-time job so that he can earn some extra cash after school and on the weekends. He is a high school student who lives with his family in Chinatown, and he wants to be able to help his parents pay the household bills. Since he is busy with school and does not have a driver's license, a job that is in the neighborhood would be most convenient. He is a native English speaker and has just filed his working papers, but he has no real work experience.

Carolyn Lam

Carolyn Lam

Carolyn is an architect, and she and her husband have just moved into a loft apartment in Chinatown. She finds the location of neighborhood very convenient and loves the vibrancy of Chinatown streets. She enjoys buying nice things for her new apartment, eating out at the various restaurants nearby, and cultural activities. She is interested in getting to know more people in the community. Carolyn is excited to get to know Chinatown better!

Wan Chung

Wan Chung

Wan is a retired postal worker. He has been living in Tai Tung Village for 20 years and has many friends who live in the same building or just down the street. His grandchildren visit him on the weekends, and they usually go to get dim sum on Sunday mornings. Chinatown is convenient for him because everything he needs is within a short walking distance. Has a great group of friends and likes to find places to read the newspaper, chat, or practice Tai Chi. He doesn't like to spend a lot of money but he is looking for something to do during the day.

Evan Mira

Evan Mira

Evan is a third-year Tufts Dental School student living in the neighboring Bay Village community. He moved from California and has a strong network of classmates he works, studies, and parties with in Chinatown. He loves the excitement and convenience of being in the heart of Boston and that comes with a hefty price tag. His parents help defray some of his living expenses by buying the condo unit he shares with a classmate. He's taken out a large student loan to cover his tuition and all other expenses -- like going out to destress. School has grown increasingly stressful and he often stays up late to finish work. Evan is looking for a place he can hang out with friends or put on his headphones and study.

Jimmy Lee

Jimmy Lee

Jimmy is a high school student and lives in Brookline with his family. Even though he has never lived in Chinatown, he knows it like the back of his hand because he comes every weekend to have dim sum with his grandparents and sometimes to accompany his mother to C-Mart for Chinese groceries. His mother's family grew up in Chinatown, so he has heard a lot of stories about the many changes in the neighborhood since they moved to the suburbs. He and his friends like to come into Chinatown for inexpensive but good Asian food, especially bubble tea, dim sum, and pastries. He's really happy the egg puff lady is back in business! Jimmy is interested in getting to know other facets of Chinatown and wonders if there are ways for him to be more involved with the community.

Karen Lai

Karen Lai

Karen is a fourth-grader at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School and lives in Chinatown with her parents and grandparents. She is looking for fun after school activities, and her parents would like to enroll her in an extra-curricular program. Unfortunately, they are low-income residents so they would like to find something affordable. It has to be in the neighborhood so that Karen can walk over with her friends or with a grandparent. She and her parents are interested in places that teach Chinese, have athletic activities, or teach other hobbies and skills.