A 48-page guide developed in a pilot project to resettle LGBT refugees in San Francisco, Rainbow Bridges offers practical step-by-step guidance on welcoming new refugees, ensuring their mental and physical well-being, and helping them find support in their new communities. It includes sample forms, a suggested code of conduct, and outlines the avenues for refugees to receive housing, employment, and federal assistance. A result of our collaboration with many trusted partners in San Francisco and across the United States, Rainbow Bridges also contains vibrant LGBTI-themes paintings by San Francisco gay artist Marconi Calindas.
Rainbow Bridges is available online at http://oraminternational.com/publications. Printed copies are available to sogi listserv members by special order. Please feel free to write me directly.
ORAM estimates the US receives about 2,000 refugees a year who are fleeing persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, representing 6% of all asylees in America. Unlike other refugees, those who are LGBT or intersex often undergo the integration process alone, facing exclusion from the religious and immigrant communities that form the safety net for most newly arrived refugees and asylees.
We hope Rainbow Bridges will help U.S. LGBT, faith-based, and welcoming communities support these refugees as they build new lives in the United States.