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A letter from one of our members:
“Hello, we are Chelo and Skarlett! We are a couple who have been together since 2012. I, Chelo, am a transgender man and Skarlett, my partner, is a bisexual woman.
In January 2016 we were released from our places of detention. Skarlett was previously incarcerated, and now is on probation.
I, Chelo, came out of detention, thanks to my political asylum. Due to the time we spent inside of jail and then detention, we lost everything economically speaking, and also left detention with very poor health, both physically and mentally. We were scared that Skarlett’s permanent residency was going to be taken away.
After being released, we learned about QDEP, they have helped us to move forward. Since we were connected with them, we have been provided financial assistance for transportation, food and housing expenses. We have also been referred to health clinics, and now have Medicaid. We obtained very detailed informational assistance regarding education centers and job search connections. In the same way, we have received legal assistance from QDEP. Skarlett was experiencing harassment from her probation officer in New Jersey after she was released from jail. The probation officer forced Skarlett to travel from New York to New Jersey multiple times a month, would not be at the appointments when she arrived, and then arrested her for not appearing at court when she never received notification to appear. QDEP went to court with us many times and discussed these conditions with the judge. QDEP helped us obtain a better public defender to represent Skarlett and now Skarlett does not experience harassment from her probation officer. She also only has to call into her probation and we are working to file an appeal for her case now that we have proper representation.
QDEP has done a lot for us!
And in the same way, has done much for many other people who have needed the help and the services that this organization provides. For this reason, we are, and will remain, firmly grateful until the end for all the support we have received and will continue to receive from QDEP. We thank QDEP tirelessly!!!”
– Chelo Silva