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HHS Puts Cash Up for First LGBT Refugee Center

HHS Puts Cash Up for First LGBT Refugee Center


The federal government wants to make the transition easier for lesbian and gay people who come to this country in search of asylum from persecution in their homelands, and it's investing $250,000 to start making a difference.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced today a new contract with the Heartland Alliance of Chicago to create a first-ever resource center for LGBT refugees.

The new program is part of the Obama administration's belief that "comprehensive human rights include the elimination of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity," according to a statement from David Hansell, assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families, a division of HHS.

LGBT refugees needed special attention that differed from others, according to the government's Office of Refugee Resettlement.

"The current resettlement network has limited understanding of the LGBT community," said ORR Director Eskinder Negash in a statement. "No information exists in the context of available resource materials specifically for LGBT refugees. The need for these services is critical to ensure their successful resettlement in the U.S."

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