IRUO Program

The Immigrant, Refugee, Undocumented Outreach (IRUO) Program is community education and advocacy program working to increase and improve access to culturally and linguistically competent behavioral health services to immigrants, refugees, and undocumented community members.
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Seattle Counseling Service identified major barriers LGBTQ identified immigrant, refugee, and undocumented individuals face in accessing behavioral health services in the Seattle-King County area. The IRUO Program seeks to address how local service agencies can work in collaboration with community partners to eliminate these barriers and improve access to services for this community.

View the 2015 IRUO Project Report

(Corey Thies, Boya Hua, Brandon Gibs, Chau To)

We are excited to have a new IRUO program Coordinator, Chau To, at Seattle Counseling Service. She will help to expand the program to our communities in King County. We have two designated clinicians assigned to our program. One clinician speaks Mandarin and the other clinician speaks Spanish. We are proud that over 50% of our clients we serve are Latinx. It is a population underserved in our community when it comes to mental health issues. Our future goal is to reach more immigrants in the Asian communities. We are grateful for Premera to give us this grant that can be used to serve our immigrant communities. The needs for mental access are more important than ever due to COVID-19.

We are currently partnering with Entre Hermanos, Somas, Washington Immigration Solidarity Network (WAISN), and International Rescue Committee (IRC) to better serve our communities. Washington Immigration Solidarity Network (WAISN) has added Seattle Counseling Services on their WAISN Resources Finder on their website. This will enable more potential clients to find our services during the pandemic. It’s also been great partnering with Universal Languages Services to translate some of our medical documents for clients we serve.  We have successfully put our Seattle Counseling Service application online in Mandarin and Spanish.


What have we done so far?

  • The project has been presented to 70 different agencies working with refugees in King County.
  • We have hosted 8 delegates from the State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Program to provide them with ideas for programs and services that could be implemented in their countries.
  • We have provided assistance to callers needing resources and information on asylum processes as well as information about our services to Spanish speaking individuals.
  • We have hosted presentations, workshops and focus groups.
  • NPR and Story Corps have partnered with SCS to document seven stories of LGBTQ immigrants and refugees as part of their Out Loud Project. Our Outreach Specialist is working with Story Corps to reach out to API Transgender and Queer immigrants and Refugees as well as Latinos. The stories might be aired on NPR.
  • Because of our work with this project we have been chosen by asylumconnect.org to be their pilot city for their program.
  • We have distributed more than 1800 informational brochures about the project and about services at SCS.
Artist: Julio Salgado

Tell us how we can help you. Everything you share with us is kept confidential.

We want to increase awareness and cultural sensitivity to LGBTQ immigrant, refugee and undocumented populations in Seattle-King County. We wish to equip new LGBTQ Americans to find housing, learn English, traverse the city, obtain jobs, receive essential supplies, develop a documentation safety plan and become self-sufficient. We will increase accessibility to services and information to LGBTQ immigrant, refugee, and undocumented individuals in the community. Tell us about your experience.

Cuéntanos en SCS cómo podemos ayudarle, todo lo que compartes con nosotros se mantiene en confidencialidad.

Queremos incrementar la conciencia y la sensibilidad cultural a las poblaciones inmigrantes, refugiadas e indocumentadas de LGBTQ en el condado de Seattle-King. Deseamos equipar a los nuevos estadounidenses LGBTQ para encontrar vivienda, aprender inglés, atravesar la cuidad, obtener trabajos, recibir suministros esenciales, desarrollar un plan de emergencia con documentación y llegar a ser autosuficientes. Aumentaremos el acceso a servicios e información a los LGBTQ inmigrantes, refugiados e indocumentados en la comunidad. Cuéntenos su experiencia.

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