AsylumConnect and One Degree join Forces to Take First Online Resource Database for LGBTQ Asylum Seekers

AsylumConnect, a fiscally sponsored nonprofit helping LGBTQ asylum seekers find verified human needs resources, and One Degree, a technology-driven nonprofit that helps low-income families access resources to achieve social and economic mobility, today announced a partnership to build a national version of the AsylumConnect catalog. The AsylumConnect catalog, currently available on web and mobile devices for Seattle and Philadelphia, is the first online resource database for LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S. This partnership will enable the rapid growth of the AsylumConnect catalog to New York City, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco by November 2017.

“This partnership is a big step forward for the communities we both serve,” said Rey Faustino, founder and CEO of One Degree. “Together, our two organizations are breaking the mold of a nonprofit sector that is rife with fractured and duplicative solutions. By working together, we can scale our impact quickly and more efficiently.”

Thousands of LGBTQ immigrants and asylum seekers come to the U.S. every year fleeing persecution in their home countries based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Yet upon arrival in the U.S., many do not know where it is safe to go for help.

The AsylumConnect catalog fills this gap. This groundbreaking database empowers LGBTQ asylum seekers to safely integrate into the U.S. by providing a platform for them to access resource information and referrals to meet their needs in key areas, including: housing, legal, food, medical, mental health, social support, employment, and education. To-date, the catalog has garnered positive feedback from LGBTQ asylum seekers and service providers. Asylum seekers have called the catalog “highly recommended,” “easy to use,” and noted they eagerly await expansion to other “local [organizations] and regions.”

“My office is glad to learn that AsylumConnect exists,” commented an immigration and asylum attorney focusing on LGBT/SOGI-minority claims. “So many asylum-seekers don’t know where to turn and worry that ‘help’ will discriminate.”

Now, building upon One Degree’s powerful resource search and management platform, AsylumConnect will scale its service to all major U.S. cities.

“With One Degree’s support, the AsylumConnect catalog will be able to reach its full potential,” said Katie Sgarro, AsylumConnect Co-Founder and President. “Together, we can ensure that all LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S. have the information they need to finally live safe, healthy, and authentic lives.”

The new resource catalog powered by One Degree will introduce additional U.S. cities, new technical functionality, as well as an improved user experience for both LGBTQ asylum seekers and service providers in the U.S. The launch will commence AsylumConnect’s national expansion through opening up public resource suggestions to anywhere in the U.S. powered by One Degree’s community submission tools.

One Degree, a nonprofit organization founded in 2012, will provide access to its open API, as well as consultation on technology and resource information management, which will enable AsylumConnect to rapidly accelerate its goal of creating a comprehensive online resource database for LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S. In turn, AsylumConnect will contribute to One Degree’s resource database, which will become the new home of its catalog.