S.A.F.E. seeks to empower immigrants and vulnerable populations who have been marginalized due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and other factors to reach their fullest potential by providing humanitarian assistance while fostering understanding and cooperation among diverse communities.

SAFE identifies and then collaborates with recent immigrants who would like to further their personals goals (e.g., achieving legal immigration status, finding a job, accessing healthcare, etc.) while giving back to the community.  SAFE views each individual holistically and as an agent in their own empowerment rather than as a “case.”

SAFE conducts a monthly legal clinic, during which we meet with people on a walk-in basis and seek to answer questions regarding immigration status and options, including court and application preparation. 

Are you a recent immigrant to the United States or asylum seeker? Are you a native New Yorker interested in providing support and assistance to a recent immigrant or asylum seeker? Our mentorship program pairs mentees with mentors who can offer a lending hand navigating daily life, whether immigration-based needs, employment guidance, or general interests.

All contributions to S.A.F.E. are eligible for IRS 501(c) non-profit tax deduction. Donate using Paypal, or using the Donately form below (which allows for recurring donations)


(Congregation Beit Simchat Torah)

130 W 30th St, New York, NY 10001

Copyright © 2019, Seeking Asylum & Finding Empowerment, Inc., All rights reserved.



Why Mentoring Matters

Interview with Daria

As a mental health clinician and a trauma specialist with special competency in working with diverse immigrant communities, I can attest to the benefit of establishing and maintaining strong social connections. Such connections reduce isolation, improve mental health and offer better coping strategies for the newest Americans.

The immigration journey is fraught with many predicaments, such as language barriers and different cultural expectations. Uprooting oneself and moving to a foreign land is a traumatic process that leaves an indelible impact on the individual...(more..)

Daria left Russia in 2017 and came to SAFE through her friend Dmitrii.  She is currently seeking asylum.

What is it like being an LGBTQ youth in Russia?

My whole life I was scared to admit the fact that I am bisexual. When I was fifteen, I first started to realize that I am attracted to women, in addition to men. Before that, when I felt romantic feelings toward women, I tried my best just not to think about it because I knew it was not considered normal in Russia. At that time, I told myself it was just part of teenage development and part of my passion for art.

When I was seventeen ..(more..)

End Double Discrimination against LGBTQ+ Immigrants

Same-sex couples face withering stares and homophobic slurs, such as pidar (“faggot” in Russian), when they walk down the street hand in hand.  Landlords avoid renting to openly LGBTQ+ individuals. Workers at restaurants and shops face relentless misogyny and homophobia. From all corners, transgender people face a host of perils, from unacceptable misgendering to horrendous violence.  For all these individuals, finding a safe place to be oneself is very hard.

The picture I am painting is not to be found in Moscow--although all of these things happen there, too--but here in New York City. And this situation is ... (more...)

by Lyosha Gorshkov