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|About||A safe place for up to 15 LGBT*+ refugees at a time to help them get back on their own feet.|
Istanbul is now a city of 14 million people with a few hundred thousand refugees - in fact, there are more Syrian refugees in Istanbul than in all the rest of Europe combined. Being a refugee here in itself isn't easy, but belonging to the LGBT*+ community at the same time poses additional challenges. Though they have fled war in their native countries for safety in Turkey, many are not safe even in their own home due to wide-spread homo- and/transphobia.
There is an urgent need for outreach and direct help in order to make the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender etc. refugees safer. This is why, in June 2017 we welcomed our first guests to Aman Shelter in Istanbul, a place where they can feel safe, accepted and supported and build a community with other LGBT*+ refugees.
The shelter's goals are to offer a safe space and temporary housing for LGBT+ refugees along with psychological support, medical care, food, language courses, life planning, and job training. When cases come to us, we will interview them and create a plan based on their needs. They can stay in the shelter for up to 3 months, while we raise money and provide needed food, housing, care and training. After their stay with us in the shelter, we work to create sustainable long term plan for housing and employment. The shelter can house 20 occupants and is a not-for-profit, grassroots, initiative. We rely heavily on our amazing volunteers who we are immensely grateful for.