Building Capacity to Resettle Vulnerable Refugees
ORAM spearheaded the community-based “Guardian Group” approach to resettling LGBTI refugees to the San Francisco Bay Area 2010. In 2012, ORAM published Rainbow Bridges: A Community Guide to Rebuilding the Lives of LGBTI Refugees and Asylees, which continues to serve as the defining work in the field.
Today several US communities have adopted the creative and empowering “Guardian Group” approach with much success.
ORAM continues to work with faith-based and other groups in their building of Guardian Group programs. We also continue to refer a select group of resettled refugees to Guardian Groups where the need arises.
Refugees are identified by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and are accepted by the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Refugees who are resettled to the U.S. receive a very modest stipend to cover their preliminary accommodation and living expenses. After eight months, government support ceases.
Like many other ultra-vulnerable refugees, LGBTI refugees have significant challenges upon arrival in the U.S., including needs for housing and community.