ST. MARY’S IN NEAT PARTNERSHIP WITH CONGREGATION SHERITH ISRAEL
St. Mary’s Justice Ministries have joined with members of Congregation Sherith Israel in support of a young Honduran family seeking asylum in the United States. The new partnership is known as NEAT, for Nueva Esperanza Accompaniment Team, which is a program of Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity (IM4HI).
NEAT groups throughout the Bay Area work with (usually) newly arrived immigrants for a period of six months to a year to help them achieve independent self-sufficiency. IM4HI trains NEAT leaders in listening and support skills that are essential to help the family gain access to the resources and systems to live securely, confidently, and independently in a new country and culture.
Several San Francisco Presbyterian churches work with NEAT families. Calvary has three NEAT teams. St. Mary’s may be the first Episcopal NEAT congregation in San Francisco. The wonderful interfaith partnership with Congregation Sherith Israel, on California St., is forging a model of interfaith work in support of specific immigrant families.
How does NEAT work? If a family needs immediate help with rent, for instance, we may help them for a month, as long as they contribute also. Then we identify and refer to the family public and private resources that might help with rent assistance in the future. We have helped this family obtain food resources, like San Francisco/Marin Food Bank distribution sites nearest them.
One of our first actions helped the family furnish and equip their living quarters, including everything from furniture and cookware to bedding and baby clothes. As you can see, the furniture occasionally pushed our transportation capacities, in this case, Nancy Clark’s car.
The beautiful young family soon will introduce themselves to us. We want to ensure that anything that we share does not threaten either their safety or their legal status.
In the meantime, you are encouraged to join us. Currently, St. Mary’s NEAT participants include Nancy Clark, David Crosson, Greer Hopkins, Marcony, and Anne Williams. We welcome your inquiries and your full participation. If you are interested, contact David Crosson: [email protected]; 408-316-0478.