The Organization for Refuge, Asylum, and Migration (ORAM) is proud to release the electronic version of its newest publication, Rainbow Bridges: A Community Guide to Rebuilding the Lives of LGBTI Refugees and Asylees. Rainbow Bridges is the first guide of its kind for U.S. LGBTI and accepting communities.
A 48-page publication developed in a pilot ORAM project to resettle LGBTI 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-themed paintings by San Francisco gay artist Marconi Calindas.
Rainbow Bridges is available for download and the ORAM website contains additional resources for the successful resettlement of LGBTI refugees, including listings of voluntary agencies, LGBTI-welcoming congregations, and a directory of LGBTI service organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.
ORAM estimates the U.S. 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 LGBTI often undergo the integration process alone, excluded 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. LGBTI, faith-based, and welcoming communities support these refugees as they build new lives in the United States.