5 November 2019

AsylumConnect Launches First Ever Mobile App For #LGBTQ Asylum Seekers

AsylumConnect Launches First Ever Mobile App For LGBTQ Asylum Seekers
AsylumConnect Launches First Ever Mobile App For LGBTQ Asylum Seekers
Tech nonprofit AsylumConnect has launched the first-of-its-kind mobile app for the tens of thousands of LGBTQ asylum seekers fleeing their homes for safer ground each year. AsylumConnect had previously been available as a dynamic web application.
"Our free app instantly connects persecuted LGBTQ people with verified safe services and support. With today's launch, we have improved our platform's mobile accessibility and user experience at this pivotal moment for LGBTQ and immigrant communities," said Katie Sgarro, AsylumConnect co-founder and president.
From leaving their dangerous home country to resettlement, it is often a matter of life-or-death for LGBTQ asylum seekers to be able to easily connect with legitimate and LGBTQ-affirming lawyers and other direct service providers. 

LGBTQ asylum seekers and other LGBTQ populations (undocumented immigrants, homeless or isolated youth) use AsylumConnect as a free digital one-stop-shop referral site to meet their needs in all aspects of their lives, including: housing, legal, medical, mental health, education and employment. 

  • Lawyers and other direct service providers also use AsylumConnect to gather verified referrals.

The AsylumConnect mobile app on iOS and Android offers an improved user experience and new features:

  • Streamlined user experience: improved content organization, new bottom navigation, and fresh designs throughout the app
  • New verified resources and locations: at launch, the app connects users to verified LGBTQ-and immigrant-friendly services in 25 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico
  • Anonymity: designed to protect users' privacy online
  • Search filters: filter out services that require specific documentation (medical insurance, proof of age/income/residence, or a referral)
  • Translation: available in over 100 languages
Next, AsylumConnect will introduce enhanced map visualization, offline capabilities, new locations and an integrated private online community for LGBTQ asylum seekers.
Since launching in 2016, AsylumConnect has connected over 11,000 unique users to verified LGBTQ-and immigrant-friendly services in the U.S. and has been accessed in over 150 countries. Financial and in-kind supporters include: Roddenberry Foundation, U.S. Committee for Refugees & Immigrants, Clinton Foundation, Brooklyn Community Foundation Immigrant Rights Fund, One Degree, Urban Justice Center's Social Justice Accelerator, and Miller Center's GSBI Social Entrepreneurship at the Margins Accelerator.

About AsylumConnect

AsylumConnect is a tech nonprofit providing the first and only digital resource platform for LGBTQ asylum.

About Katie Sgarro, AsylumConnect Co-Founder & President 

Katie Sgarro is based in New York and is a social entrepreneur and LGBTQ advocate. During her senior year in college, she publicly “came out” in order to co-found AsylumConnect. Her experience denying her own LGBTQ identity drives her to ensure that other LGBTQ people live freely. Sgarro has led AsylumConnect for 5 years in establishing the first ever digital resource platform for LGBTQ asylum.

For her work on AsylumConnect, Sgarro was selected as the winner of MCC15’s Millennium Peace Prize at the United Nations and the 2015 Business Today Impact Challenge. In 2017, she was named to the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) Alumni Honor Roll of social innovators and as a Mogul Influencer. Sgarro was also named a Washington Post’s WP BrandStudio Influencer in 2018. In 2019, Sgarro became a Roddenberry Fellow and joined Urban Justice Center’s Social Justice Accelerator. In 2019, Sgarro was also selected as one of 24 emerging nonprofit leaders for American Express Leadership Academy's Converge Academy in Brooklyn, NY.

She has been a featured speaker on LGBTQ rights and public good technology, and her work has appeared in national outlets including Teen Vogue, Forbes.com, The HuffPost, NowThis, The Advocate, and The Hill. She received a B.A. cum laude in Health & Societies from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.S. in Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. 
Katie Sgarro
Katie Sgarro (image via www.katiesgarro.com)
    SOURCE: AsylumConnect