The Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP) needs your financial support to make sure that our members–both those incarcerated by ICE and those we’ve helped release–have the support that they need to get through the COVID-19 crisis.
Across New York and New Jersey, vulnerable immigrant communities are dealing with the consequences of COVID-19 and the economic recession it has caused. As public life grinds to a halt and businesses close, increasing numbers of people are becoming unemployed. For the thousands of immigrants housed in overcrowded detention facilities, social distancing is impossible, and access to healthcare and basic hygiene items is limited. Many of these immigrants have underlying medical conditions, and are at a high risk of contracting COVID-19. Outside of detention, many immigrants have already lost their jobs due to government mandates that businesses close. In a capitalist, racist nation like the United States, public health is not assured, and marginalized communities will be hardest hit.
QDEP will do everything in our power to keep our members safe throughout this crisis, but we can’t do it without your support.
Your contribution will go directly towards helping immigrants in detention through:
- Increasing commissary funds to members in immigration detention so they are able to stay in contact with QDEP and their communities while being able to afford the supplies they need, including food and antibacterial soap.
Additionally your support will allow us to provide our members released from detention with:
- Clothing, shoes, toiletries and underwear: our members are released from ICE detention centers with literally nothing but the clothes on their backs. They are in need of basic items like clean underwear and T-shirts, socks, clothing, and shoes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, lotion, razors, shaving cream, and make-up. QDEP wants to make sure they can receive those items as soon as they arrive in New York City, in addition to essential items for this crisis such as antibacterial soap and disinfectants.
- Monthly Unlimited Metrocards: so our members can move freely once living in New York City. MTA cards are extremely expensive and at the same time VITAL for our members to get to their court hearings, ICE check-ins, medical, mental health and legal appointments, community meetings etc.
- Monthly Unlimited Phone Service: essential to our members so they can have access to important news and stay in touch with their friends, loved ones, QDEP, and with their lawyers and medical services providers.
We need your support to provide basic necessities to protect LGBTQIA+ Immigrants through the crisis caused by COVID-19. Our members are relying on us and we are relying on you. We can't achieve our mission without you.
Since 2014 The Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP) has supported Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Two-Spirit, Trans, Gender Non-Conforming (LGBTQIA), and HIV+ immigrants currently in detention centers, immigrants recently released from detention centers, and those at risk of entering immigration detention. QDEP is a project of the non-profit 501(c)(3) Center for Transformative Action (CTA).