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H.O.M.E.

Humanitarian Outreach for Migrant Emotional Health

What We Do

Asylum seekers who arrive at the US southern border are in flight for their lives but rarely have evidence of their trauma to present to US officials.  We provide detailed mental health assessments to meet this need, and we do not charge for this service.  We do the same for all types of humanitarian immigration by partnering with nonprofit and pro bono attorneys to support those who seek safety in the US. 

How It Works

Nonprofit and pro or low bono immigration attorneys with humanitarian cases may request assessments through a secure online referral form. H.O.M.E. will assign each case to an appropriate mental health evaluator from among our team of professionals, with assignments based on the clinician's expertise, state of licensure, and availability for the requested turnaround time.  

H.O.M.E. will provide clinical oversight and affidavit review to ensure a consistent process and quality control.  H.O.M.E. will also provide: 

  • Training and resources for mental health professionals 
  • Readily available consultation for both attorneys and mental health professionals
  • Language interpretation
  • HIPAA compliant telehealth platform
  • HIPAA compliant document transfer
  • Academic resources to strengthen documentation

This process is designed to strengthen cases, reduce attorney review time, and provide a high quality document in support of migrants who would not otherwise access mental health assessment.  

Who We Are

H.O.M.E. is a team of professionals who see clear connections between mental health and social justice.  Much of our work is volunteer, and we are grateful for everyone who participates.  Most of all, we are profoundly grateful for the migrants who trust us to document their experiences and who teach us through their vulnerability, resilience, and leadership.

H.O.M.E. is a 501(c)(3) public charity --  EIN 85-3614204. 

Meet the H.O.M.E. Leadership Team

Executive Director, Jenifer Wolf-Williams, Ed.D., LPC-S, LPA

As H.O.M.E. Executive Director and part of its founding team, Jenifer provides both clinical and organizational leadership.  She previously served asylum seekers through her private practice and has engaged in mental health immigration service throughout her career.  Her early practice included three years in Honduras, Central America, followed by similar work within the US.  In addition to her clinical credentials, Jenifer holds the Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership, and her non-clinical experience includes academia and two years as a US Senate Staffer, where she was assigned to immigration.  Her 2020 publication Perspectives on Asylum Policy: Going to the Borderlands and Coming to Terms with US History, Social Sentiment, and Hope offers her personal narrative and her explanations of the social implications of asylum policy.  

Board of Directors

Board President, Molly Martinez, Ph.D.

Molly is a clinical psychologist who co-led an earlier project for asylum seekers, the mental health component of "Dallas Responds."  That project served families who were newly released from ICE detention, and Molly's oversight kept the work clinically sound and clearly defined.  She has experience in mental health assessments for immigration cases, as well as a passion for connecting mental health and social justice. 

Board Secretary, Paul Zoltan, J.D.

Paul is an immigration attorney with a lifelong track record of advocacy for humanitarian immigration applicants.  As the son of a Hungarian refugee, he devoted his career to welcoming those who continue to arrive.  Paul has a long list of awards and community services, and I'm grateful this work will now be among them.

Board Treasurer, Ana M. Gómez de Torres, Ed.D.

Dr. Gómez de Torres immigrated from Mexico. She likes to engage in topics such as diversity, equity, inclusion, teaching, learning, and social justice. She loves giving back to her community by supporting DACA and Dreamer students and the least represented. She is a full-time professor at a California community college and adjunct faculty at a private university.  Dr. Gómez de Torres also has experience in nonprofit Board leadership, including experience as Treasurer.  Early in her career, she worked as a paraeducator in the K-12 educational system and taught preschool. She is honored and grateful with the opportunity her profession/vocation offers her, to serve and impact the lives of students and community members so that they may thrive in life. 

Director, Marcella Smith, PhD, MSW

Marcella is an Assistant Professor and Interim Department Head for the School of Social Work at Texas A&M University-Commerce. She has worked with numerous immigrants in her role as an educator. She has also conducted research and presentations on immigration issues at state and national conferences. As an immigrant herself, she has a strong passion for advocating and working with this vulnerable population.

Cofounder and Director, David Gangsei, Ph.D., San Diego, CA

David is a cofounder of the original pilot project, having partnered with Jerry Gray from its inception.  As the former international clinical advisor for the Center for Victims of Torture and the former clinical director for Survivors of Torture International, David has extensive experience in the assessment and documentation of human rights abuses.  An avid "connector", David brings extensive knowledge regarding collaborators engaged in similar efforts around the globe. 

Executive Board Member, NIcholas Rizza, Berkley, CA

Nick has extensive experience in humanitarian work among survivors of human rights abuses.  His professional background includes 20 years with Amnesty International USA, where he evaluated, documented, and wrote opinion letters on political asylum claims.  He also investigated and reported on conditions for asylum seekers in jails and detention centers.  He spent several years of his career in Latin America.  He is a longtime friend of Jerry Gray. 

Advisory Board 

Judy Iwens Eidelson, Ph.D.

Judy is a clinical psychologist who has been conducting psychological evaluations of immigrant survivors of human rights abuses and providing expert testimony since 2002. She is the founder of the Philadelphia Immigration Evaluators Resource Network, a community of practice for clinicians providing pro bono asylum evaluations. Judy also supervises graduate students and conducts trainings on trauma, credibility, vicarious trauma, and interviewing skills for attorneys and mental health professionals.

Bill Holston, J.D., Dallas, TX

Executive director of the Humans Rights Initiative of Dallas, Bill has a lifelong passion for social justice, a strong track record for immigrant advocacy, and extensive knowledge of immigration law.  He has received a number of social justice awards for his work, including the Dallas Bar Association's Martin Luther King Jr. Justice Award.  He is also a master naturalist who shares his love of the out of doors with the community. 

Selma Yznaga, Ph.D., Brownsville, TX

Selma is an associate professor and administrator in the Department of Counseling at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.  As an experienced clinician and educator, Selma brings her expertise directly into immigrant communities, and she equips new counselors to serve those communities as well.  Selma brings a mental health perspective to social justice advocacy and is the founder of the Texas Counselors for Social Justice, which addresses the oppression of ethnic and social minorities.  

In Grateful Memory

Cofounder Gerald Gray, LCSW, MPH

Gerald (Jerry) Gray, passed from this life while HOME was in formation.  Jerry co-founded the original pilot project, became its sole financial donor, initiated our shift from project to nonprofit, and inspired us all.  Without Jerry, this work would not have been possible.   

Jerry was a member of the Stanford Human Rights in Trauma Laboratory and the former executive director of Survivors International of San Francisco, as well as the Center for Survivors of Torture, San Jose.  In his recent memoir, Turning the Wound, Jerry shared his journey through narrative, poetry, and paintings.  We are grateful Jerry continued to envision a kinder world even through his final days.  This was his enduring gift.

  
Jerry's wife Coleen Higa remains an invaluable supporter and encouragement.  We at HOME are grateful and will do our best to grow this work toward Jerry's vision for it. 

 

What Matters to Us

Our purpose is to provide immigration attorneys and their humanitarian clients with mental health documentation of clients’ trauma histories, emotional and cognitive impact, fear of return, and other factors relevant to mental health and migration.  We also document the broader emotional impact of immigration policy and practice, and we offer public education regarding humanitarian migration.

Our vision includes expansion of services along the US southern border, appropriate trauma care for immigrant communities, and expanded education for host communities and policymakers regarding migration and mental health. 

Our values statement: All people deserve life, purpose, dignity, safety, opportunity, and connections with those they love.  We work toward these ideals through an attitude of learning, a structure of collaboration, and a spirit of courage.