This week the Guardian Group met with two asylum seekers new to San Francisco and volunteered to help them settle in the Bay Area. The number of people we have helped since our formation in 2011 is now 14.
Here are our new clients:
23-Year Old Gay Man from Uganda
“M” came to the US in June for the family’s business and while here his family back home discovered pictures of M and his boyfriend. The family told him that they would have him arrested as soon as he returned. They also cut off his access to money. So, without having planned to stay in the US, M is forced to seek asylum and has no resources to support himself. And, like most asylum seekers, he is not eligible to work for at least six months.
The people in the Guardian Group who have met him are impressed by his intelligence and spirit.
Our group has given him food, a clipper card, and went with him to Goodwill to buy some clothes. He has been in touch with a pro-bono attorney to file the formal asylum request.
He needs a laptop computer and housing starting August 25th.
33-Year Old Lesbian from Cameroon
“J” is a lovely woman, very pleasant and speaks fairly good English. She is living with a lesbian couple and their 3-year-old daughter. They are in an apartment near Lake Merritt in Oakland. Back home J did not have a regular job, but sold ice cream on the street. She suffered from brutal physical and mental attacks and escaped to the United States in April this year. When she arrived in the US the Immigration and Custom Enforcement put her in detention until she was bailed out and joined the women from Oakland.
The Guardian Group will help her connect with local services and provide assistance with the living costs.
The Need Grows, Our Work Continues
The Guardian Group gets frequent emails and calls from people asking for help and from people who know newcomers who need support. We cannot help most of the people we learn about because of our limited resources. We are very happy that we were able to accept these two clients this week.