I M HOPE Center

I M HOPE Center

(A Response to the Immigration Crisis)

I M HOPE Center is a Christian social justice services agency of the West Contra Costa circuit of the United Methodist Church established to provide top-quality and innovative legal immigration assistance for refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented persons and families. Do you remember Abraham? He was an immigrant. Do you remember the Holy Family? They were refugees seeking asylum when they fled to Egypt.

With currently heated political rhetoric, mounting concerns and uncertainties regarding documentation of immigrants nationwide, the United States Customs and Immigration Services has recognized the need for immigration legalization service providers to offer affordable assistance to immigrants of low/limited means. And in response the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security are providing for churches and their representatives to be recognized and accredited to provide representation and legal services at low or no cost to persons needing help. Thus, many faith-based organizations – National Justice for Our Neighbors, Catholic Charities and others – are following provisions granted by the US legislation and organizing efforts to heed the call to be “a neighbor” aka “good Samaritans” to “do for the least of these”. IMHC in will provide services and assistance to whosoever will come!


  1. LEGAL SERVICES: Citizenship & Naturalization; Family Petitions; Visa; Asylum; U Visa, Deportation Intervention; Consular Processing; Temporary Protective Services; Employment Authorization; Victims of Abused Women Act (VAWA), Family Victim Counseling/Defense
  2. SANCTUARY SERVICES: Coordinate – English as a Second Language; Civics & American History Education; Housing; Job skills Training with City of Richmond & Kaiser Permanente, Contra Costa Colleges

The hurdles we face in getting started are MAJOR & not insignificant: we need an immigration lawyer on the payroll before we can begin. And while there are many opportunities for matching funds and grants, most grantors expect us to have a substantial amount of cash on hand – at least $40,000. For instance, Justice For Our Neighbors, an agency of the United Methodist Committee On Relief, will match that amount, and provide other valuable services as well if we can meet that goal. The Immigration Task Force of the California Nevada Annual Conference also is a possible partner. Further, our circuit churches are making monthly pledges and the 2019 Good Friday offerings at our joint circuit service was designated for I M HOPE Center. If you would, we welcome volunteers – unskilled or skill and/or donors who might be interested in this opportunity to help the people on the margins of our community.

Please contact us at: imhope.center@gmaill.com, or the church office: office@esumconline.org


October Events

  • 10/11, 3pm: Conversation with Sheriff Ahern. Hosted by Livermore Indivisible and St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church (flier below). Join a forum to hear Sheriff Ahern respond to community concerns regarding ICE collaboration, conditions in jails, and more. Location: 678 Enos Way, Livermore. Contact: camlehman@gmail.com