Dear Friends – Center Global is once again reaching out to our network of individuals and organizations who are supportive of LGBT asylum seekers here in the Washington, DC area to address our ongoing need for housing assistance. We recognize the difficulty that many people have in providing long-term housing to individuals, but ask you to make a special effort to reach out to your friends and networks to help us meet these needs.
At this time we have requests for the following needs:
A student from Afghanistan who has applied for asylum and living in a hostile housing environment with people from his home country. He is currently in northern Virginia and seeking a safe place to live while waiting for his asylum application to be filed and then obtain employment authorization in about six months.
A young man from India, who recently graduated from college and worked for a year, is now facing housing issues because his employment authorization has ended and he is applying for asylum. He has been couch surfing for the past two months after also being in a hostile living environment and needs to find a stable place to live for approximately the next six months.
An asylum seeker from Egypt needs housing while also waiting for approval of his employment authorization.
A male from Guatemala who is in his late 20’s who now has work authorization needs housing for several months while he finds a steady job and saves the funds to move into independent housing.
We are also aware of several other individuals whose housing situations are less than ideal and would benefit from a more stable situation. Often we have short notice of the housing needs of our program participants.
Our needs are ongoing and evolving – any assistance you can provide is most appreciated. Since Center Global has begun to assist in arranging housing for asylum seekers, we have been very fortunate that community members have opened their homes to these individuals without charge. We recognize that this is a large responsibility for individuals to take on, but ask for your consideration. For those providing hosted housing we ask four things:
commitment of at least three months, with the expectation that it may be as much as one year (a trial period can be arranged, if preferred),
a private room (we have had individuals offer couch space and other arrangements, but have found that these arrangements are not workable in the long run),
reasonable accessibility to public transportation and
There is no expectation to provide meals (although some hosts have been kind enough to assist with this) or other social supports; we work with the asylum seekers on these needs. If you would like more information about how you can assist with this please feel free to contact me directly.
Recognizing that you may not be able to assist directly with this request, we also ask that you share this request with your various networks, faith communities and social organizations. Please circulate the following announcement:
Housing Assistance Needed for LGBT Asylum Seekers – Center Global, a program of the DC Center for the LGBT Community, is seeking housing hosts for individuals who are seeking asylum from countries that are not safe for LGBT persons to live in. Housing hosts are asked to provide a private bedroom for a minimum of three months; while these individuals (in some cases couples) are going through the asylum process. These are individuals who are unable to access other government services and lack support from family and friends from their home countries, we have several persons in need of immediate housing. For more information please contact Eric Scharf with Center Global at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always your interest and support in this work is most appreciated.