The Justice for Our Neighbors Ministry (JFON) program initiated by the General Board of Global Ministries in 1999 has served thousands of immigrants throughout the United States. The United Methodist Community on Relief (UMCOR) sponsors the program with 32 clinic sites operating nationwide. JFON-West Michigan was formed in 2004 with a site hosted at Grand Rapids First United Methodist Church. In 2005, we opened a second sited hosted by First United Methodist Church of Holland.
JFON was created as a response to the increasingly complex immigration regulations stemming from the Immigration Reform and Immigration Act of 1996. September 11th and the Patriot Act has exacerbated the situation, causing backlogs on new and existing applications and an increase in deportation orders.
How JFON Operates:
JFON promotes Volunteerism by using volunteers to perform new client intakes and provide hospitality at monthly clinics held at each site; totaling over 1,400 hours annually; Program budget includes over 50% of its income from in-kind services;
100% of operating funds are collected and spent locally;
Who JFON Serves:
More than 1,800 clients from over 60 nations in 9 years of service;
110 new clients intakes annually providing one-time consultations and accepting most for on-going representation, including: JFON rescued 12 immigrant women and their children from abusive relationships by preparing VAWA applications; JFON combated human trafficking and helped immigrants who were victims of crime by preparing 14 T Visa and U Visa applications; JFON supported 5 unaccompanied minor children and orphans by representing them in court and making multiple filings to complete their SIJS applications.