Justice for Our Neighbors is a network of 16 locally operated sites that collectively serve over 4,000 low-income immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers each year. Our 40 free or low-cost immigration legal clinics are held in churches and other community settings.
Our sites also engage in education and advocacy. We conduct Know Your Rights and safety planning sessions for immigrant communities. We give presentations at churches and other community centers to educate and inform local residents about our complicated and evolving immigration laws and policies.
National JFON serves as the backbone for this network of United Methodist immigration sites. We provide strategic support to immigration attorneys, volunteers, staff, and boards of directors to offer more effective immigration legal services to low-income immigrants. We also oversee the expansion of the network to welcome new sites in areas of high need. Working together with our sites, NJFON helps them provide superlative immigration legal services and achieve a larger collective impact than they could ever realize on their own. Here’s why:
Ensuring highest-quality, effective immigration legal services across the network
- We ensure excellence among JFON sites with procedures to evaluate, monitor and measure achievements, and a mentoring program for site attorneys. We hold sites accountable for providing excellent services through, among other things, a Memorandum of Understanding. We offer hands-on assistance to start-up sites, including in-person visits from the NJFON staff, as they develop leadership, raise funds, and implement a faith-based immigration legal clinic with a focus on volunteer involvement.
- We facilitate exceptional legal services through attorney mentorship, trainings, and frequent communications on the topics of governance, programming and fundraising. This helps JFON sites implement best practices in all facets of their work.
- We foster opportunities for staff, board members and volunteers to learn from one another and share ideas through in-person gatherings, attorney calls, listservs, and an internal website with hundreds of documents for shared use. As a result, JFON staff become more knowledgeable and effective in carrying out their missions of providing life-changing immigration legal services.
Brokering national resources for local support
- We provide financial support that focuses on sustainability and resource-sharing through opportunities such as matching grants and innovation funds. Sustainable sites are key to ensuring that clients are represented until a positive outcome is achieved.
- We reduce overhead expenses of local sites by covering critical items such as malpractice insurance, case management systems, research databases, and memberships in the immigration field and nonprofit community. This allows sites to focus their resources on serving clients.
Increasing public awareness of immigrant needs and services to address those needs
- We promote the JFON brand through communications that tell the stories of our clients and our work on their behalf. This enables sites to grow and helps potential clients become aware of services available to them.
- We advocate for immigrant rights and immigration reform using our collective voices from across the country, representing the hopes, struggles, and experiences of our many and diverse immigrant clients. This fosters more widespread advances for the immigrant community that cannot be achieved through direct services alone.