Immigrant, Refugee and Undocumented Outreach Program

SCS has developed IRUO, a program to serve LGBTQ immigrant, refugee and undocumented individuals in the Seattle-King County area.



In May 2015, Seattle Counseling Service received funding to identify major barriers LGBTQ identified immigrant, refugee, and undocumented individuals face in accessing behavioral health services in the Seattle-King County area. In addition to identifying these barriers, the Immigrant, Refugee, and Undocumented Outreach (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.


Tell us at SCS 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.
  • Drop by SCS, and talk to one of our Program Coordinators: 
    • Jadivan Elzughbi
      (206) 323 – 1768 x 325
    • Sandhya Sridhar
      (206) 323 – 1768 x 323
  • 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.
  • Pasa por SCS, y habla uno con nosotros Coordinador del Programa:
    • Jadivan Elzughbi
      (206) 323 – 1768 x 325
    • Sandhya Sridhar
      (206) 323 – 1768 x 323
  • Cuéntenos su experiencia.


  Artist: Julio Salgado

Artist: Julio Salgado

  • 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 to be their pilot city for their program.
  • We have distributed more than 1800 informational brochures about the project and about services at SCS.


Meet the IRUO Program Coordinators! 

IRUO Sandhya.png


Hi I’m Sandhya. What parts of ourselves rarely make it into bios? Especially if you’re an immigrant, refugee, or a non-documented person, I’d love to hear your answer. IRUO is a project and program, yes, but it’s also a movement of people who are showing the world how to hold multiplicity in one body. As LGBTQ+ immigrants, refugees, asylees, or undocumented folks, we live in multiple languages, multiple countries and cultures, multiple realities and reasons. I’d like to help celebrate this. Ideally, said celebration happens over vegan froyo, rainy day hikes, or real-time interpretative dance. 

IRUO Jadivan.png


Marhaba! My name is Jadivan Elzughbi. My education background is BA in Occupational Therapy from Bethlehem University, and MA in Congregation and Community Care from Luther Seminary, St Paul MN. I worked in different settings, with various ages, and cultures. I worked as an Occupational Therapist in 3 different settings in Palestine, Israel and the Czech Republic. I founded and created the first wheelchair basketball team for young adults in Palestine. I was a TV show host for Children in Palestine for 2 years (yes there are videos on YouTube! search for "Amo Jado"). Through these various work settings with clients of different ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, and racial backgrounds, I have developed a sensitive multicultural approach in addressing clients’ needs. I’m fluent in Arabic and English languages. I believe that the goal of the counseling is to assist the client to reach high levels of independence in the activities of daily living according to their age and skills level. Over the past years, I worked in a variety of settings focusing on counseling, independence and community empowerment for individuals with diverse needs. I have done individual and group sessions, and community skill-building groups and education groups to increase awareness of resources. I am looking forward to expand my role, to work and serve individual from different populations; LGBTQ+ specially those who are immigrants, refugees, and undocumented.