John Park

KNX Hero of the Week
Thursday, October 10th
For many people in Southern California, the fear of living on the street is just one paycheck away. 

Our KNX Hero of the Week knows first-hand what it's like to be on the brink of homelessness. He's now using his restaurant in Costa Mesa to help others facing the same circumstance. 

A few years ago, Chef John Park and his family fell on hard times.

"We lost a lot of money and we actually were almost homeless ourselves," says John.  "At the time, we had two young boys. And, it was really difficult to, you know, have to go through that."

John had several restaurants in Los Angeles County, but they were all facing financial trouble. 

"It was a struggle," recalls John. "We got the businesses back up, [and] we were able to sell everything. We [then] moved out to Orange County, and we decided, you know, if given the opportunity to do it again, we were going to try and do more." 

And, that's exactly what he's done. 

John now runs Toast Kitchen + Bakery in Costa Mesa, and each month, the restaurant donates ten-percent of its revenue to area non-profits. 

John also hires and trains people who don't have a home.

"We wanted to do everything that we could, to help those who maybe weren't as lucky as us. [Maybe] they don't have family and friends that can bail them out in a time of need. And, that's why they're on the street." 

Along the way, John has also created popup restaurants and hosted special events to raise money for charities that fight homelessness. 

One of the organizations that John has helped is Bracken's Kitchen, which delivers hot meals to those in need. 

Bill Bracken says John is truly a hero.

"You know, [he's] just an amazing guy, who - first and foremost - puts the interests of others, before his own. And, that's pretty cool!" 

Bill adds that the world could use more people like John.

"It's great to know that there's people like John out there," Bill says. "And, if we really choose to focus on the good, you'll find out that the world really does have a lot of good in it. Thank God for KNX, to help raise awareness of those good people." 

Our KNX Hero of the week is Chef John Park, who's doing what he can, to pay it forward to help those who need a hand. 

"My wife and I... you know, we really feel like we went through this for a reason. And it was really was to just to know what it felt like, so that we can try and alleviate that pain and discomfort for other people," explains John. "We are going to do the most that we can." 

KNX Heroes is presented by California Resources Corporation, saluting our military veterans, and all of our heroes! 

Learn more about Chef John Park and his work at Toast Kitchen + Bakery at

Heather Jordan, KNX 1070 News Radio.