Christ Ministry Center is the only long-term shelter in San Diego for people seeking asylum, despite the city sitting next to one of the busiest border crossings in the country. Most people crossing the border into the US have a plan for where they will go, but those who don’t, don’t have the money to get there, or need to stay in the area for their court dates end up staying in places like this church shelter or risk ending up living on the streets. From its start the shelter was a place that favored taking in families, but soon it became a place that immigration authorities knew they could drop detained pregnant women and new mothers, especially those with no family or place to go in the US.
In recent months, families have been crossing the border at a higher rate than ever before, and ICE has been emptying out family detention centers into border cities. Similarly, pregnant women — alone or with their partners and other children — are seemingly crossing in higher numbers as well. The church and the few other long-term shelters like it in other border cities have already become overwhelmed and overcrowded. So inundated, in fact, that Christ Ministry Center's shelter is being shut down. “I’m scared because I don’t have anyone,” Rose, a 38-year-old with fuchsia-tipped curls, told BuzzFeed News, her tiny newborn asleep in her arms. “I must leave by March 31, but I still don’t know where I’m going."
"I can’t sleep at night,” she added, tears coming to her eyes. “Sometimes I feel crazy, like I walk with no direction.”