DIAS supports asylum seekers during the complicated and often heart wrenching process of applying and waiting for asylum. Through our work with asylum seekers and those that have been granted asylum we have met amazing, caring, engaged and incredibly courageous people who, to us, often embody the best and most miraculous a human being can be.
When people come to the United States to seek asylum, most have escaped persecution in their home countries with little more than their lives. Once they arrive, there are few if any support systems available to them. Asylum seekers do not have the right to legal representation, even though it is almost impossible to be granted asylum without a lawyer by your side. As most do not have local family or friends, asylum seekers generally do not have access to housing or food stamps, which leads to many ending up in homeless shelters. In fact, those with no local contacts are at risk of immediate detainment upon arrival and placement in a local jail or prison. Many of these individuals could be released if they had a local housing option.
DIAS was founded to offer free housing and community support to people seeking asylum. Apart from a room for each supported asylum seeker, we also provide daily meals, transportation to lawyers’ and doctors’ appointments, English classes and overall direct, caring and comforting support.