LGBTQI+ Refugees Welcome is a self-organized, grassroots initiative of solidarity, whose goal is to afford space and give voice and support to one of the most repressed and 'invisible' sides of the refugee 'crisis': That of the LGBTQI+ community.
At this time we desperately need funds to support several members of our group who are homeless. Most of the already inadequate refugee accommodation facilities in Athens, for example camps and community squats, are particularly inappropriate for LGBT individuals due to high levels of discrimination, violence, and abuse. Accommodation facilities that attempt to serve LGBT needs as part of larger projects are packed beyond the point of overcrowding, with four people to rooms meant for one.
Further, one of the horrible ironies of this crisis is that once a refugee receives asylum in Greece it becomes almost impossible for them to get money or housing from any NGO or the government. In fact, even if an asylum seeker has found accommodation through an NGO they are often kicked out once they attain refugee status with little time to find alternatives. At this time several of our members, legally recognized as refugees, have no housing and are relying on the kindness of friends and moving from floor to floor to find shelter.
Many groups dedicated to LGBTQI+ rights or refugee needs do not fully address the intersectional struggles our members face. We need housing for our members that does more than put a roof over their heads, but also provides stability for people who have lived in dangerous instability since leaving their home. We need housing that allows LGBTQI+ refugees the agency to choose where they will live for the first time since they became refugees and were shuttled from camp to hotspot and back. We need housing for LGBTQI+ refugees who are from Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, Cameroon, the DRC and many other places, have faced danger their whole lives, and yet still do not have the same rights to the expedited asylum procedures or NGO assistance afforded to people from Syria. We need housing that can be used in emergency situations-- such as when an LGBTQI+ refugee escapes an island they have been trapped on since EU Turkey Deal, arrives in Athens, and has absolutely nowhere to go.
In light of this we need funding for accommodation, targeting two 2-bedroom apartments for a total of 8000 Euros over six months.
We have found two apartments of two bedrooms, 75 square meters each, with a 300 euro rent. Additional funds will be required for heating, electricity, wifi, and common building fees for each flat. The flats are unfurnished and thus we would also require a one-time payment for furniture as well a month of rent as a security deposit. Our needs will change but at the time this will suffice for our urgent cases.
We thank you for your time, and welcome any questions.
Love and solidarity,
LGBTQI+ Refugees Welcome in Greece