Both the Pride Foundation and the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund (see Evelyn and Walther Haas, Jr. Fund: Grants for LGBT). are publicizing their efforts to support the LGBT Dreamers Fund. Last year, President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The idea is to assist undocumented individuals who were brought to the United States as children in becoming legal residents and eventually citizens. These young people are commonly called "Dreamers," a reference to the Dream Act.
The LGBT Dreamers Fund was established to help qualifying youngsters pay the $465 fees necessary to be considered for DACA relief. While $465 may not seem like an excessive fee, it can be prohibitively expensive to these youngsters who are limited in their employment options. Once in the DACA program, these young people can get work permits and pursue their career and educational dreams.
To date, 160 youth have received assistance from the fund and 40 more are expecting assistance. The fund has raised $100,000 from dozens of organizations and foundations, including some of the biggest names in LGBT philanthropy. Liberty Hill, a social justice foundation in Los Angeles, is handling applications to the fund and more information can be found here.
LGBT youth who are undocumented immigrants can be especially vulnerable, living in a closet inside a closet. For many youth who were brought to this country illegally, the United States is the only nation they've known, so deportation to their "home" country is a frightening prospect. For LGBT youth, though, the fear is worse as many face the risk of deportation to a country where LGBT people are persecuted or even prosecuted. The LGBT Dreamers Fund aims to help them emerge from those closets and live a life free from fear of discovery, abuse, and deportation.
LGBT philanthropists are not always on the same page in terms of strategy. But the Dreamers Fund is example of many of these funders working toward a common goal.