Do you serve allies of the LGBTQ community at these locations as well?
Though we work to strongly foster a sense of LGBTQ allyship within all Waking the Village programs, Audre’s Emporium is specifically sanctioned for youth who identify on the LGBTQ spectrum. This is not an attempt to add further restrictions of red tape, but this program was developed under the belief that there are no housing programs specifically set aside for LGBTQ youth in Sacramento and few across America as a whole. This community deserves it’s own haven to flourish safely within, Audre’s Emporium vows to do just that.
How does someone “prove” they are gay?
Nobody is asked to show her “gay card” at Audre’s Emporium. If a youth self identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community, that’s all we need to hear. We encourage youth to think critically before making any identity claims and acknowledge that this is the only housing program in Sacramento specifically designated for LGBTQ youth and individuals should bear this is mind when self identifying.
Other than being for the LGBTQ community, how does this program run differently than Tubman House?
Like Tubman House, Audre’s Emporium is two separate homes with four youth and a House Director living in each. Specific to Audre’s Emporium, one house is set aside for “singles” or “non-parenting youth”. In addition to this distinction, Audre’s Emporium has a strong focus of activism and working towards a “new tomorrow” for the LGBTQ+ community. Youth will be actively engaged in the newest dialogue within the movement, will design and carry out action projects within the community, and will work to shape the way in which LGBTQ+ youth are viewed and heard in the community.
How is Waking the Village staff especially trained to work with the LGBTQ community?
Approximately 50% of Waking the Village staff identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community, ensuring that we have first hand experience in what it’s like to claim this identity while navigating through young adulthood. All staff has gone through “Safe Zone” training and has been acquainted and familiarized with all LGBTQ resources in Sacramento. Waking the Village is constantly seeking new methods for training and self-education within our staff community.