‘A safe place.’ For LGBT asylum seekers, a new shot at life

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12/13/2021

The church volunteers assembled furniture and hung decorations in the newly renovated apartment building. They laid out nearly every necessity, down to the bath towels, bed linens, cooking supplies and televisions. Over Thanksgiving weekend, the first residents of the home in Worcester, Massachusetts moved in: three gay men seeking asylum in the U.S. “I don’t even have the words,” said Alain Spyke, 26, who fled Jamaica after being continually harassed and threatened by a local gang for being gay. “To come into this country and have a safe space to escape all the hardships and trauma? Not everyone has that opportunity.” A Massachusetts church group that’s uniquely focused on support for immigrants fleeing their countries due to their sexual orientation has opened a new, permanent home for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender asylum seekers.

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