Accompaniment NEAT Stories

The Power of NEAT Community: Alex, Amy, and Calvary Presbyterian

As a part of their faith, Calvary Presbyterian Church in San Francisco wanted to make sure immigrants in the community knew they were welcome. After hanging an “Immigrants and Refugees Welcome” banner over their entrance, they began noticing person after person coming through their doors. Alex had recently arrived from Honduras with his son, and noticed the banner one day while he was working as a school janitor across the street. He immediately connected to their Sanctuary team, and accompaniment began.

A Calvary team member accompanies Amy and her daughter the day they moved in to their new apartment

Alex’s hopeful spirit guided their path as they accompanied each other to attend court dates, enroll his son in school, and connect to community resources. He always made decisions with the assured confidence that the rest of his family would join him soon.

His faith became reality when his wife Amy and three children arrived here in December after eight months of waiting in Mexico due to the Remain in Mexico policy. Overjoyed, their reunification came with the challenge of finding affordable housing for six in one of the most expensive cities in the world. The best they could find was a $2500/month studio, and signed the lease as a last resort.

By a set of divine provisions a generous individual came forward through the San Francisco Interfaith Coalition on Immigration (SFICI). The family was offered a lease an in-law unit for $1000/month. Within a week they were released from their previously signed lease, a congregant offered to co-sign at the new place, and Alex and his family moved into their newly affordable, spacious home.

HURRAH for Alex’s unwavering faith and the power of the IM4HI community!

After connecting Alex to legal resources and months of waiting and praying, Calvary team members joined together with Alex and his children in the church to welcome his wife, Amy, the day she arrived from Honduras
Amy and her children settled in to their new apartment after Calvary assisted their connection to the landlord

Living Sanctuary at Calvary: Learn more about how Calvary became a sanctuary church and accompanied Alex and his family on the Calvary website. The congregation has created a video about their experience: “Calvary Answers a Knock at the Door.”

Learn more about Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity’s Nueva Esperanza Accompaniment Team program.