Letter from Program Founder
Stabilizing Our Presence in the Community
2016, our second full year in existence, was a year of stabilization in which we further solidified our identity as an organization and our presence in the community. I am pleased to report on our continued presence as a community support program for LGBT refugees and immigrants from Latin America. First, a word about the founding of OLAS and the population we are serving.
Through my work conducting psychological evaluations with individuals seeking asylum in the U.S. at the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, I was particularly moved by the experience of the LGBT immigrants and their eagerness to tell their stories. All of them have personal experiences of violence and/or discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Not only have most of them been isolated from family and community support, but many have also been unable to access mental health services.
The mission of OLAS is to build community support and to respond to the mental health needs of Latin American LGBT immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. due to anti-gay/trans violence and discrimination in their countries of origin. We believe that all people who seek refuge in the U.S. due to homophobia and transphobia deserve access to affordable and effective mental health care and community support.
We launched our first successful pilot program in September, 2014 with a weekend wellness retreat. Activities included group therapy, stress reduction and relaxation skills, community building exercises and a nature hike, all with an emphasis on increasing self-acceptance and self-esteem. We received glowing feedback from the participants. For example, one participant told us, “This retreat is the best thing I have ever done.
In 2015, our first full year in existence, we raised enough funds (through tax-deductible donations grants, and a fundraiser) to offer three group retreats. In 2016, we not only offered three group retreats, but also three one-day events. Two of these one-day events were for our regular program participants. Another was exclusively for the Brazilian, Portuguese-speaking LGBT immigrant community. Also, unlike in 2015, our 2016 fundraiser was MC’d by a participant and about 10 participants were in attendance.
I am grateful to all of the people who contributed their time and expertise to help make this vision a reality.
Special thanks for East Bay Sanctuary Covenant for their fiscal sponsorship!
With kind regards,
Diana Shapiro, Program Founder
2016 Accomplishments & Highlights
In this wonderful year, we made a difference in the lives of LGBT immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Peru, Nicaragua and Columbia. Here are some of our accomplishments.
- Implemented three weekend retreats with a total of 27 participants to rave reviews
- We also implemented three one-day events with a total of 33 participants. One of these events was for the Brazilian, Portuguese-speaking LGBT immigrant community. As a result, we now have all of our major documents translated into Portuguese.
- We supported our participants through two very stressful events, the Orlando shooting in June and the Presidential election in November. These events were addressed at OLAS gatherings, and we used our confidential Facebook group as a forum for sharing feelings and words of support / encouragement.
- We hired a Brazilian therapist and attempted to reach out to the Brazilian, Portuguese-speaking LGBT community, offering a one day program.
- We improved our logo to be more versatile, while maintaining the basic design of our former logo.
- Melanie DeMore, a well-known local singer/songwriter, honored us, for the second consecutive year, by being the headliner at our 2016 fundraiser. Another participant opened for her. Yet another participant served as MC of the entire event.
- Our Advisory Committee remains solid in its commitment to serving the LGBT Latin American immigrant community.
2016 Income and Expense Report
Our actual expenditures in 2016 totaled $10,183.91. When in-kind donations are factored in, our expenditures total $14,353.91.
2016 Income Source
From Paypal $5400
From personal checks $7745
Participant donations $875
Total Donations $14,020
End-of-year Fundraiser $2953
Total 2016 Income $16,973
Retreat Assistant fees $700
Art Supplies $100
Asst Director (x 2 retreats) $2500
Logo Design $800
Mailing costs $270
Rental Space x 3 wkshps $600
Total in kind donations $4970
Weekend retreats (3 Total)
Lodging (2 x @ $714 and 1x at $500) $1928
Materials and Supplies $73.39
Presenter Honorariums $200
Registrar payments $460
Retreat Assistant (one retreat only) $350
Retreat total $4092.39 (average $1364.13 per retreat)
One-Day workshops (3 total)
Rental space 0 (Donated)
Food (2 events only) $241.52
Translation of documents to Portuguese $310
Registrar expenses (1 event) $120
Brazilian facilitator/interpreter $250
Total One-Day Workshops $921.52
Staff: Program Director $5000
Miscellaneous Expenses: Fundraiser Poster and logo redesign $170
Grand total 2016 Expenses $10,183.91
2017 Projected Budget
In 2016, our actual expenditures were $10,183.91.
We also received $4970 in in-kind donations, bringing the total costs to $14, 353.91. Our 2017 projected expenses are very similar. Since we can’t depend on in-kind donations, we have folded those costs into the projected expenses, for a total projected budget of $14,897. In addition, we received a few large donations in 2016 that are not expected to repeat in 2017. Therefore, our projected income in 2017 is lower than our 2016 income.
2017 Projected Expenses
Asst. Director $2500
Total Staff Costs $7500
Two weekend retreats
Facility rental ($714 each weekend x2 retreats) $1428
Outside speakers’ honorarium ($100 Each times x 2 retreats) $200
Food expenses ($375 x 2 retreats) $750
Art and other supplies, including Firewood, decorations, copies, etc.($150 each weekend x 2 retreats) $300
Retreat Assistant ($350 perWeekend X 2 weekends) $700
(approximately 10 hrs per retreat at $20/hr x 2) $400
Mailing costs-stamps/envelopes, printing costs
($30/Per retreat x 4) $120
Total Weekend Retreat Costs $3, 898
Four 1-Day Workshops
Facility rental (8 hrs x 35/hr X 4 events -1) $120
Food ($175 per day X 4 workshops) $700
Retreat Assistant ($175/day x 4) $700
-Registrar Hours (approximately 6Hrs @$20/hr x 4 retreats) $480
Miscellaneous art and other supplies ($75 per day x 4) $300
Mailing costs $150
Total 1-Day Workshop Costs $3,450
Grand total 2017 Projected Expenses $14,897
2017 Projected Income
From Paypal $2600
From Personal Checks $1000
Participants Donations $900
Total Projected Donations $4500
Total 2017 Projected Income 8,500
The OLAS Advisory Committee is composed of experts from various professions and backgrounds who join our efforts in making a difference in the lives of LGBT immigrants. They help guide OLAS’s vision and offer practical suggestions for improving and advancing the program. These stakeholders meet in person three times per year and offer consultation and assistance as needed throughout the year.
Advisory Committee 2016
Aaron Testard, LMFT, LPCC: Aaron Testard is the Director of Clinical Services at the Pacific Center for Human Growth and a psychotherapist in private practice in Berkeley. He has a 10-year history of non-profit program management and development, and his clinical specialties include sexual and gender identity, addiction, HIV, and felon re-entry. He has previously worked as a substance abuse counselor at Acceptance Place, a child and family therapist at Sunny Hills Services, and a group therapist at Jewish Home for the Aged.
Adela Pedroza, MBA: Adela is a full-time Consultant with Kaiser Permanente Market Research in Oakland, CA, where she assists senior health care leaders in making business decisions. Adela has over 8 years of market research and marketing experience. She holds an MBA in Marketing from University of Arizona and a BA from Vassar College, and did graduate studies in international marketing in Mexico.
Carolina Abolio, BA: Carolina is a Venezuelan photographer, based in Oakland, CA. In her work you can see the mix of her strong Caribbean roots and the magic of diversity that surrounds her every day. Her main goal is to bring awareness to the community about the importance of collaboration, tolerance and respect towards each other, especially in the gay/ Latino communities. She also is a mentor for the East Bay College Fund, supporting low-income college students coming from the Oakland public school system.
Chris Tiedemann, Esq.: Chris is an environmental attorney in Oakland. She has volunteered for East Bay immigrant groups for many years and is currently on the Board of Directors of East Bay Sanctuary Covenant.
Janelle Orsi, Esq.: Janelle is a lawyer, advocate, writer, and cartoonist focused on cooperatives, the sharing economy, urban agriculture, shared housing, local currencies, and community-supported enterprise. She is Co-founder and Executive Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center and operates a small private law practice, Law Office of Janelle Orsi. Previously, she worked in a range of legal practice areas, including criminal defense, youth law, immigration, adoptions, and LGBT rights.
Jo Ellen Rodriguez, M.D.: Jo Ellen is a recently retired clinical professor from UCSF Department of Psychiatry. She has worked in the inpatient service at SFGH as well as intensive outpatient services for the seriously mentally ill, emergency psychiatric services and most recently providing ECT (electroconvulsive shock therapy) services to indigent patients. She has had a long term interest in services for immigrants, women and victims of traumatic events. She continues to provide services on a part time basis at SFGH in the department of psychiatry
Joy E. Carlson, MPH: Joy Carlson has been active in the non-profit sector for over 40 years, working primarily in the public and environmental health arena. She is currently Principal at J. Carlson Consulting which provides strategic planning, organizational development, program and policy development, and evaluation services to non-profit organizations. Prior to founding J. Carlson Consulting, she was the founding director for the Children’s Environmental Health Network, a national organization dedicated to preventing toxic exposures to children. She has worked at local, state, national and international levels with a broad range of constituencies and sectors. She has a special interest in supporting organizations and staff committed to change.
Renée Grevenberg, LCSW: Renee Grevenberg has a small private psychotherapy practice at Kensho Center for Multicultural and Holistic Counseling in Berkeley. She retired in 2011 from the San Francisco Department of Human Services, Child Protective Services, after 23 years of service as a Child Protective Services Worker and Supervisor. She continues to be active in community organizations working for Social Justice. Renee holds a BA from Brooklyn College, CUNY and an MSW from San Francisco State University.
OLAS seeks to expand its commitment to its current participants while continuing to invite new participants into the program. For 2017, we will offer 2 weekend retreats (compared to 3 in the previous year), however we will increase our one-day programs from 3 to 4. This change will allow us to reach more people, as our one-day events are consistently better attended. Also, one-day events are considerably easier to organize and less costly than our weekend retreats.
In 2016, one of our one-day events was offered exclusively for the Brazilian, Portuguese-speaking LGBT immigrant community. The event was positive but not well-attended, so we will hold off on offering another such event until more outreach can be done in the Brazilian LGBT immigrant community.
Therefore, all four of our one-day events in 2017 will be devoted to the Spanish-speaking Latino refugee/immigrant community, as opposed to two last year.
OLAS will hire a new Assistant Director in 2017, with the eventual goal of having two co-directors by 2018. Having two co-directors will increase our ability to do outreach, to cooperate with other local organizations, to increase fundraising efforts, and to keep our curriculum fresh and innovative, while staying true to our original mission and values.
At the end of 2016, four wonderful members of our Advisory Committee stepped down in order to focus on other family and volunteer commitments. Going forward, the 2017 Advisory Committee will have four new members, in addition to three original members serving their third year on the committee. OLAS would like to thank all the former and current members of the Advisory Committee for their invaluable help.
In order to become a sustainable non-profit program , fundraising efforts are currently underway, including crowdfunding campaigns, grants, fundraiser events, and volunteer recruitment. Thanks to our efforts, we begin the 2017 calendar/fiscal year with $26 207.64. We are able to cover our 2017 expenses, with a surplus going into 2018. We plan to continue to operate under the fiscal sponsorship of East Bay Sanctuary Covenant.
Here is how you can help:
Donate through our website: www.olas-sanctuary.org
Or send us a check! Please make checks out to East Bay Sanctuary Covenant. Write OLAS/Rainbow in the memo line. Otherwise, your donation will go into East Bay Sanctuary Covenant’s general fund and not to us. Please send your checks to: East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, P.O. Box 4670, Berkeley CA 94704
There are many ways to help us non-monetarily. We sometimes volunteer help in the kitchen during our weekend retreats. We also would benefit from donations of art supplies and decorations. For more information, please contact Diana Shapiro at 510-665-4118 x2.
Donor List 2016
We would like to thank the following people and organizations for their generous contributions.
Volunteers/In-Kind Donations: Helen Couture-Rodriguez, Jo Ellen Rodriguez, Sebastian Melo, Rosenda Sandoval, Laura Fannon, Maggie Moore, Kate Munger, Joanne Holland, Scott McPherson, Sylvia Soriano, Lauren Phillips, Margo Leslie, Hector Garcia, Adela Pedroza, Joy Carlson, Carolina Abolio, Aaron Testard, Chris Tiedemann, Renee Grevenberg, Janelle Orsi, Jan Thomas, John Taft, Barbara Gilson, Doris Garrido Serrano, Ruby Barnett, Renee Enteen, La Meditaranee Restaurant, Books Inc, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, The Spanish Table, Rick and Anne’s, Pegasus Books, Shotgun Players, The Marsh, California Academy of Sciences, Chanticleer, Lisa Harbus, The Claremont Hotel, Tacubaya, Half Price Books, Poulet Restaurant, Bette’s Oceanview Diner, The New Parkway theater, Fitness SF, and Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
Financial Donations: Sharon Moy, Alan Shapiro, Monica Alexandra, Lyn Fine, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Woo Kim, Anna Lijphart. Annie Mitchell, Lisa Temple, Emma Haft, Celenia Delsol, Helen Greenspan, Joan Lohman, , Michael and Alice Smith, and Suzanne Sporri.
OLAS would also like to thank those who made their donations anonymously.