Melanie Nathan – Jan 12-2011 – SAN FRANCISCO - ORAM, the first migration organization focusing exclusively on refugees fleeing sexual and gender-based violence worldwide, has began a pilot resettlement program out of their Bay Area office. This service will add to the new network spanning national, ethnic, religious, racial and gender divides, as ORAM provides clients with free legal representation and conducts advocacy and education on their behalf.
Today the group – an imperative resource for LGBT refugees, is reaching out to the Bay Area for help, with an urgent call to for housing for a Gay Ugandan Refugee. The young man (approximately late 20′s-30′s) has fled Uganda and is being legally directed to San Francisco, where he will receive assistance from ORAM and some financial support from the US Government. He will be seeking employment as soon as he arrives. He will have a stipend and medical coverage – the most difficult to arrange is a place to stay.
I decided to write this appeal because I know that amongst our San Francisco, Bay Area community are the kindest and most generous people who may well understand the hardship of non acceptance and prejudice. We have all felt the pain; imagine living in a country where being homosexual is considered a crime.
Proudly San Francisco will host this unique International program, designed to help LGBTQI refugees; it is small but its a start. The vision of the international team, ORAM, is filling a much needed gap in social justice and services, by starting this pilot program. As a community we ought to support their endeavors and go all out to make the pilot a viable program. I am hoping that my readers will contact ORAM and ask how they can help our young Ugandan brother to settle in with a smooth transition. Perhaps we can offer to host him – with events in his honor – as well as provide accommodation and other needs for his comfort.
What is most critical is housing for him and ORAM must find affordable accommodation in a matter of a few weeks. This is the letter that ORAM has sent out:
Dear ORAM supporter,
Do you live in the San Francisco Bay Area? ORAM – Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration has begun its flagship resettlement program, helping vulnerable LGBTI refugees rebuild their lives in the San Francisco area. Our first refugee, a Ugandan, is due to arrive in a few weeks and we are looking for volunteers to assist with many aspects of his resettlement. Further information is available on our website.
We are especially looking for low cost, affordable housing. Can you help? We need LGBTI and refugee-friendly accommodation that is affordable on the small allowance offered by the US government. You may know someone who has a room to rent for a small amount, or even have space in your home. Our refugee is scheduled to arrive in February or March.
We would love to hear from you. Please email us at email@example.com with any thoughts or suggestions.
If you yourself are unable to help, please send this message further to friends and colleagues. Together, we can create a safe landing for our refugee.
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The team at ORAM
Posted by Melanie Nathan