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Rainbow Railroad Welcomes First LGBTQ+ Refugee to U.S.

Rainbow Railroad, a global organization that helps LGBTQ+ people escape persecution, recently welcomed their first refugee supported by their programs to the United States. The arrival marks a significant milestone in the organization’s mission to create “communities of care” for LGBTQ+ refugees around the world.

The refugee, who arrived from El Salvador, is being resettled in Washington, D.C. through the Welcome Corps program, a U.S. State Department initiative that connects American citizens and permanent residents with refugees seeking resettlement. Rainbow Railroad is a partner in this first-of-its-kind program focused on relocating queer refugees.

For queer and trans refugees, the journey to a new life can be lonely and isolating. The “Communities of Care” initiative recognizes that every LGBTQ+ person has the right to live freely with dignity, safety, and community. It calls on American residents to help create home and belonging for at-risk LGBTQ+ people.

Rainbow Railroad has provided life-saving support to more than 12,000 LGBTQ+ refugees since 2006. The organization works with a network of volunteers and partner organizations to help refugees find safe haven, access essential services, and build new lives.

How You Can Help

There are many ways that American residents can get involved in supporting LGBTQ+ refugees. Here are a few ideas:

  • Donate to Rainbow Railroad or another organization that supports LGBTQ+ refugees.
  • Volunteer your time to help with resettlement efforts.
  • Join a private sponsorship group (PSG).
  • Educate yourself about the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ refugees.
  • Advocate for policies that support LGBTQ+ refugees.

Together, we can create a world where all LGBTQ+ people can live freely and safely.

About Rainbow Railroad

Rainbow Railroad is a global charitable organization that helps at-risk LGBTQI+ people get to safer cities and countries worldwide. In a time when there are more displaced people than ever, LGBTQI+ individuals are uniquely vulnerable due to systemic, state-enabled homophobia and transphobia. These factors either displace them in their own country or prevent them from escaping harm.

Welcome Corps is a U.S. State Department program that connects American citizens and permanent residents with refugees seeking resettlement. Rainbow Railroad is a partner in this first-of-its-kind program focused on relocating queer refugees. Working in a private sponsors group (PSG), volunteer sponsors provide critical support to queer and trans refugees fleeing persecution and empower them with resources as they build a new life with dignity in a community of care. A sponsor’s contribution, no matter how big or small, makes a monumental difference in a refugee’s life.

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