Our Support Services Team helps immigrants access services beyond their legal cases, including mental health, public benefits, medical care, employment services, and many other areas.

Contact: Owen Thompson-Lastad, Support Services Program Manager
Phone: 510-540-5296 ext. 116 | Email: owen@eastbaysanctuary.org

EBSC is often the first support organization people have visited; as such, EBSC is in a unique position to expand access to social services that individuals might not otherwise seek out or be comfortable navigating due to language, stigma, or other cultural barriers. We conduct outreach, referrals, support groups, and case management services for over 200 people yearly.


We meet with people one-on-one or in small groups to help them understand various programs that exist related to public benefits, housing and rental assistance, unemployment, medical care, domestic violence prevention and intervention, legal services for non-immigration matters, and other challenges.


If we are not able to help a client directly, we refer them to trusted partners who can provide these services. We follow up with clients to make sure they receive the help they need, and advocate on their behalf as necessary. For highly traumatized clients, we partner with agencies such as Partnerships for Trauma Recovery to provide  in-depth psychological support. 


We offer wellness, arts and support groups for people wishing to delve more deeply into peer support, stress reduction tools, community building, arts, and education that will enable individuals to move forward in adapting to their new country. We currently have two support groups: one for Maya Mam Women and one for LGBTQ+ people from Latin America facilitated by our partners at OLAS LGBT Sanctuary Project.


We offer trainings on the trauma-informed approach for any nonprofit organization serving the immigrant community. We can modify our training to meet the needs of specific organizations, but standard topics include:

  • What exactly does “trauma” mean? What do we mean by the “trauma-informed approach”?
  • How does trauma affect people’s behavior?
  • How can we recognize trauma in our clients?
  • What are some specific traumas common to the community our organization serves and to your staff?
  • Is the way that your organization currently provides services trauma-informed to some degree? Where is there room to change?

To learn more or request a training, please email Owen Thompson-Lastad: owen@eastbaysanctuary.org