FCCA Accompaniment Team Update
The Alameda Post recently published Accompaniment Team member Karin Jensen’s reflection on the team’s ongoing work:
Alamedans Team Up with Shelter in Peace to Help Refugees
by Karin Jensen
I first learned about Shelter in Peace (SIP) when its president, Anna Rossi, came to my church to discuss its work. SIP is an Alameda-based nonprofit providing transitional housing and rent assistance for immigrants, refugees, and low-income families in Alameda County.
“Imagine, if you will,” she said, “escaping from danger in your native land and arriving in a country where you don’t speak the language well or at all and having to navigate securing a job and home, enrolling your children in school, opening a bank account, getting medical care, navigating transit, and so much more.”
It wasn’t hard for me to imagine. Long ago, my mother had to assist my aunts when they emigrated from China, escaping the horrors of the Sino-Japanese War. They had been living in a small, rural village in third-world conditions. When they arrived, my mother sought the assistance of a Presbyterian charity, the Ming Quong Home, where my aunts received subsidized transitional housing and donated clothes, took lessons in English and cultural etiquette, learned the skills of modern life, and found assistance enrolling in school and finding jobs. Thanks to Ming Quong’s help, they became contributing members of society with thriving children who are my cousins.
And so I, and other members of my church, the First Congregational Church of Alameda (FCCA), were drawn to SIP’s work of welcoming the stranger and assisting the refugee. Reverend Laura Rose, senior pastor, advocated for FCCA’s involvement as soon as she learned of the opportunity. What could we do to help?