What does OLAS mean?
OLAS means “waves” and is a Spanish-language acronym for LGBTQ+ Organization for Support and Solidarity.
OLAS exists for those who have been forced to migrate from their countries of origin due to homophobia and transphobia, and want to connect with a safe community of people alike, while experiencing personally enriching group activities.
OLAS believes that all people who seek refuge in the U.S. due to homophobia and transphobia deserve access to affordable and effective resources for both community support and personal healing.
Violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender leaves long-lasting, traumatic effects on the individuals who experience it. People who have access to supportive community resources tend to have much better outcomes than those who don’t. We believe that gender and sexual orientation or country of origin should not be an impediment to being happy, healthy, and thriving members of our community.
“As the Director of EBSC I have worked with hundreds of LGBT clients who fled terrible persecution in their home countries due to their sexual orientation, and I have long advocated for some kind of continuing therapy for these profoundly traumatized individuals. OLAS is precisely the kind of project needed.”
– Michael Smith, Director of East Bay Sanctuary Covenant