LGBT Refugee Services

JFCS/East Bay provides comprehensive services for LGBT individuals who have fled their home countries due to persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Unlike other refugees, LGBT individuals often arrive in the country alone; many have been victims of violence, torture, and rape.

JFCS/East Bay’s LGBT Refugee Services include: support with the resettlement process; help enrolling in benefits programs; assistance navigating the health care system, including referrals to local services; counseling services and mental health referrals; support finding educational and vocational resources; outreach to LGBT social and cultural groups; volunteer support with English, life skills, and social integration; case management; and Farsi-, Dari-, Russian-, and Spanish-speaking staff.

As we await new LGBT refugees' arrival in the United States, JFCS/East Bay is looking to develop a corps of volunteers who will be ready to help when they get here. Because the resettlement process is complex, it's often difficult to predict exactly when refugees will arrive.

We are particularly interested in preparing and training people to Volunteer with refugees--providing practical, social, and emotional support, as well as tutoring in English. In addition, refugees require an initial place to live when they arrive. We are looking for people willing to Provide Shelter to LGBT refugees for up to 8 months. If you are interested in helping in this effort, please contact Carol Palecki at or (925) 927-2000, ext. 252.

The story of one of our LGBTI refugee clients was featured on PRI's The World. You can read and hear the piece here.