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Laotian


At the same moment that the Tenderloin was rousing itself politically and beginning to pull together as a neighborhood, dramatic events on the other side of the Pacific Ocean began to make ripples, then waves in the Tenderloin. Starting in the late 1970s and intensifying in the early 80s, thousands of Southeast Asian refugees began arriving in the neighborhood. They were fleeing the violence and devastation of war, the squalor of overcrowded refugee camps, and the new communist regimes of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. The Tenderloin, with its supply of comparatively cheap rental housing became the principal settlement point of refugees landing in San Francisco.