Safe Place International was created in response to an unmet need. Countless refugees in Turkey and Greece are left without safe shelter and basic services like food and guidance for their future. The most vulnerable groups of these refugees, the LGBT community and single, pregnant women are widely ignored and face added struggles and dangers.
Our current ongoing projects work to serve double marginalized groups for the following reasons:
Most members of the LGBT community are twice refugees because after they flee their home country, they are further rejected by their refugee community for identifying outside of the socially accepted status quo. Many have fled torture and abuse, only to be meet further discrimination in the camps or even by unreliable translators in their asylum applications.
Women traveling alone, especially single mothers with small children and single pregnant women, fall victim to many perils. They are more susceptible to rape and assault. Additionally, they are at risk for diseases and sicknesses and thus need more access to medical care.
There is a massive gap present in the safety and future of these groups as refugee populations. Our work aims to tighten that gap by providing high-risk populations with basic needs and beyond. We do this a few different ways in our projects:
Offering housing (emergency, short-term, and up to one year) for vulnerable groups. This not only provides warmth, but it also provides a sense of community by linking people together under the same roof.
Providing local and English language courses almost every day. This enables people to apply themselves and get fast results in order to improve their future job prospects and integrate into the community.
One-on-one weekly casework to track progress and support beneficiaries in finding work and any legal, medical, psycho-social appointments they may need.
Access to fresh produce and grocery gift cards to allow all humans the right to eat and cook healthy food.
Job training and educational workshops to equip and prepare beneficiaries for an independent and successful future.
Our mission is to provide all this and more built on a foundation of trust and support. Our project shelters and community centers function on the example that we are all equal and deserve respect. With this motto, we can create a happy and healthy family atmosphere for those who are far away from anything familiar.
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Lesvos Women and Children's Shelter opens its doors to house vulnerable pregnant women who would otherwise be stranded in the notorious Moria refugee camp.
Safe Place International opens its 2-story community center in Athens, Greece open for all those seeking free language education, job trainings, networking support, hot meals, showers, and a family atmosphere!
SPI partnered with Tijuana LGBT emergency shelters to provide support and valuable crisis advice during the "migrant caravan crisis" on the border.
SPI began delivering monthly food support to unregistered refugee camps outside of Athens area.
SPI partnered with local activists in Bangladesh to deliver emergency aid for Rohingya refugees and widowed mothers.
Athens Housing Collective started to fill the housing gap for vulnerable refugees. We started with one apartment and now house over 50 beneficiaries.
Aman LGBT Shelter in Istanbul opened its doors for emergency cases. It was the first project of Safe Place International.
(Aman, was conceived of it in January, the building was rented in March, and welcomed the first guests in June 2017)