Our guest blogger is Jeff Krehely, Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at American Progress.
Today the Obama Administration announced a new partnership with the Heartland Alliance that will create the first-ever resource center that will help resettle LGBT refugees. The Office of Refugee Resettlement, a division of the Administration for Children and Families, awarded $250,000 to Heartland to create a training center that will support LGBT-specific work, including cultural competency training for resettlement network staff, in key resettlement locations in the United States.
ACF Acting Assistant Secretary David A. Hansell stated, “The Obama administration has issued a clear mandate that comprehensive human rights include the elimination of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Addressing the protection and resettlement challenges faced by LGBT refugees is a priority for ACF and ORR.”
In announcing the new resource center, ORR Director Eskinder Negash noted that the U.S. resettlement network currently has limited understanding of LGBT refugees, and that little information exists on the population. Heartland will work to fill this void, and increase the network’s capacity to humanely and effectively serve LGBT refugees.