HRC Blog

Obama Administration Announces Creation of LGBT Refugee Resource Center

Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services took an important step forward to ensure that LGBT refugees have the tools and support necessary to resettle successfully in the U.S.  With the creation of the LGBT refugee resource center, the Administration of Children and Families (ACF) will improve access to services and resources for LGBT refugees.  The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a division of ACF, has awarded a $250,000 contract to the Heartland Alliance in Chicago to develop this training and technical assistance center.

The resource center will address the protection and resettlement challenges unique to LGBT refugees by providing sensitivity training including an overview of key issues facing LGBT refugees, resource and capacity development in key resettlement locations, and technical assistance in service delivery.  The resource center will also develop best practices guidance and orientation materials for refugee service providers across the country. 

In announcing the grant, Acting Assistant Secretary for ACF David Hansell stated: “Addressing the protection and resettlement challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) refugees is a priority for ACF and ORR, and we are pleased to bring on Heartland Alliance as a partner to support this key initiative.  As many of these refugees left their homelands specifically because of persecution related to their LGBT status, it is particularly incumbent on us to provide a safe and welcoming environment.”

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