LGBTI Refugee Services

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

JFCS/East Bay’s LGBTI 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 LGBTI social and cultural groups; volunteer support with English, life skills, and social integration; case management; and Farsi-, Dari-, Arabic-, Russian-, and Spanish-speaking staff.

When new LGBTI refugees arrive in the United States, JFCS/East Bay is ready with a corps of trained volunteers who provide extensive support for each new arrival. Because the resettlement process is complex, it's often difficult to predict exactly when refugees will arrive. Information about volunteering can be found here.

In addition, refugees require an initial place to live when they arrive. We are always looking for people willing to provide shelter to LGBTI 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.

JFCS/East Bay has produced a Bay Area resource guide for LGBTI refugees, which can be found here.