Waking the Village was founded on five key principles:
1. “Live your dreams.”
Success should not be defined as a paycheck and a high school diploma. The women and men we work with are 18 to 21. They are way too young to settle for less. How many of us would throw a party if our 18 year old child got a job at Taco Bell after they graduated high school and had no further plans? Too many social service programs call that success. But it’s a second class future- certainly not the one we dream of for our children.
We truly believe our residents need to reclaim their dreams and make a plan to get there. It is job is to get back to those dreams and get busy supporting them.
2. “People need homes not shelters.”
Walls don’t mend spirits. Roofs don’t offer wise words in hard times. Our residents need what we all need: a home that provides the encouragement, the guidance, the traditions, the structure, and the love that we all need in order to be whole. Just like in your home, Tubman is a place to celebrate holidays, read bedtime stories, eat dinner together, play monopoly, and make cookies. It’s home. It’s to be counted on. It’s to be the place you can return to for support every day to come.
3. “Those who have been through, best know the way out.”
Tubman House is named after Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman led more slaves to freedom than any other person. Harriet Tubman was a slave herself. Harriet Tubman proved that what appears to be a curse, may in fact bless us with the strength, knowledge, courage and vision to be great. Harriet’s oppression blessed her with the power to guide others to freedom. At Tubman House, we walk in her path. Our residents use the wisdom and strength they’ve churned from hardship to make their own lives and the lives of those around them beautiful.
4. “We all need to pursue and partake of beauty and adventure to make ourselves whole.”
First trip to the ocean or the snow. First graduate in the family. First visit to the theatre. First word. First step. First camping trip. Together, we’ve explored Yellowstone, kayaking, and Redwood forests. We witnessed the courage of our residents as they face the challenge of ROPES courses, learning to swim, and learning to drive.
5. “Community is sacred and we must each embrace the struggle to build and sustain relationships.”
Perhaps one of the greatest gifts we can give our young parents is time with their babies. Rather than rushing them into vocational programs while their children go to daycare, we honor the time that’s needed for parent and child to blossom into a family. We encourage parents to devote their days to holding children close, making playdough, reading stories, and getting to know one another.
Tubman is also the only program in town to accept young couples as they become a family. We support our young couples with the guidance and counseling they need to face the challenge of committing to being a family.
As a household, we work hard to accept and encourage one another. We talk out misunderstandings, challenge one another to communicate fully, and learn to look after one another. It’s this sense of community and belonging to it- your family, your household, your neighborhood, your world- that we hope to build at Tubman.