Tubman House: A Program from Waking the Village
Waking the Village’s mission is to offer 18 months of housing and support so that Sacramento County’s homeless, parenting or pregnant youth and their children can get busy living rather than surviving. Through Tubman House, young parents (18 to 21 years old) experience healthy living, intensive case management, parent coaching and educational support so that they leave prepared to be leaders in their own lives, and leaders in the lives of their children and communities. In exchange for housing, child care, and wrap around support, Tubman residents lead Youth Corps, growing as leaders as they govern Tubman and spearhead projects to build up their community.
Waking the Village was launched in 1999 with a bike trip across America to teach 17 youth in crisis the power of dreams and determination. WTV opened Tubman House in January 2003. Since 2003, Tubman has offered 112 youth and their 85 children 18 months of housing and wraparound care.
Based in 2 houses and serving 8 families at a time, Tubman partners with each resident to reduce dependency on programs and unhealthy relationships so that each graduates able to sustain housing, health, mental wellness, a strong parent-child relationship, jobs, and progress toward careers. Three daytime directors provide support between 9 am and 4 pm as residents study, attend appointments or classes, work, join leadership and parenting sessions, address legal concerns, or meet with a coach or counselor. Coaches also guide residents in building a continuum of care that connects them to housing, counseling, school, and healthcare.
Guiding residents into productive rhythms and surrounding them with supportive adults creates real momentum. A typical resident during a Tubman stay will attend college, connect to a doctor and preventative health care, attend Parent Child Interaction Therapy, work alongside child development teachers in our on-site center, clear debts, attend to legal issues, lead service projects, connect to regular counseling, establish a savings and regular income, and govern their community. Residents save 75% of income as a commitment to self-sufficiency. Planning for permanent housing begins upon entry as residents get on affordable housing lists and begin saving.
In the evenings, house directors provide guidance in managing each home and building community. Tubman staff and a staff doula provide prenatal counseling and labor coaching at births. Coaches provide aftercare in the years following exit to ensure ongoing stability.
Tubman creates change by providing an intensive intervention in early adulthood that moves families from dependency to self-sufficiency. Since launching in January 2003, 90% of Tubman’s clients exit to stable housing; 95% exit connected to medical care; 76% attend college, averaging 12 units prior to exit; 88% access mental health counseling; 50% work and attend college; and 75% clear all debts. All commit 6 hours a week to leadership through service learning and governance of Tubman. Since 2003, residents have completed over 4,000 hours of community service. In 2009, WTV launched Art Beast Children’s Studio. Art Beast, an arts exploration space for children under 7, generates funding for Tubman, provide employment to Tubman clients, connects Tubman parents to the broader community of parents, and facilitates aftercare by providing all current and former clients with free memberships to visit often. In 2011, Art Beast provided jobs to 8 Tubman clients.