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MAP: Which Bay Area faith communities are part of the sanctuary movement?

Scroll down to see the interactive map.

In the 1980s, the term “sanctuary” was used in the context of churches that sheltered individuals and families fleeing war in the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Churches offered housing to individuals who otherwise would have been sent back to their countries of origin. The churches were considered safe shelter because of the government’s reluctance to enter these spaces. Many faith groups also supported the wider sanctuary movement, which fought to enact laws and policies more favorable to Central American refugees applying for political asylum.

Today, faith communities involved in the sanctuary movement are mobilizing to help the undocumented community, which has felt threatened since the election of President Trump in November. Several Bay Area faith communities have committed to offering physical sanctuary to persons who face final deportation orders, but still want to fight the forced return to their home country.

So far, no Bay Area religious spaces are housing individuals facing deportation orders. This offering of physical sanctuary can involve a huge commitment of energy and resources without a guarantee of success. However, many other Bay Area faith communities are actively involved in providing resources and advocacy on behalf of the undocumented community.

Help from congregations included on this map include:

  • Advocacy for pro-immigrant city, state and national policies
  • Accompaniment of asylum seekers, or families impacted by detentions or deportations to help them find services and resources; this may include providing short or long-term housing for asylum seekers who have just arrived
  • Joining a Rapid Response network that helps connect undocumented individuals detained by ICE to legal help, and their families to an emotional support system, along with other services
  • Preparing to provide short-term stays for communities threatened by ICE raids

This map was compiled with information from the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, PICO California, San Francisco Catholic Archdiocese and People Acting Together in Community. Please contact communities directly to learn more.

Is your faith space missing? Does something need to be updated? Email thespiritualedgeradio@gmail.com.

Here’s a list of communities noted on the map. (Updated 6/6/2017)

San Francisco 

East Bay


South Bay

(An * indicates communities willing to offer physical sanctuary for individuals facing deportation orders.)