Protecting Our Own: About The Wanda Alston House for Queer Youth of Color


 “I know there’s a place that you call your own/And you’re safe and warm and you feel like you’re home/

And the peace of it and the faith involved and you go to say…but/There’s no need to explain it / Still you try then you see that it’s okay.

You’re on your own / I see you lookin’ around at the people on the street/Well, things aren’t what they seem. / If you push them hard enough

You’ll find that most of them do not feel worthy of love./Now how did this come to be?”

- From “The Gospel According to Darkness” by Jane Siberry 


Based in Northeast Washington, D.C., The Wanda Alston House in is the only housing facility and mentorship program of its kind in the area. Fully functioning as a nonprofit, the program cares for and works with LGBT and questioning youth–most of whom are homeless, HIV-positive, have mental or learning challenges–and assists them with job placement, career training and planning, serving as a place transitional housing and finding them permanent housing.

Founded in honor of Wanda Alston (who was a trans* woman, feminist activist, woman of color and LGBTQ ally), The Wanda Alston House is Wanda’s dream realized. According to the team at the House, it was Wanda’s last wish that LGBTQ persons of experience and people of color in the Washington D.C. area be granted temporary housing as a safe space to live as well as opportunities to create a better life.

The organization is always in need of volunteers and donations as well as select items on their wish list.

More About Wanda Alston:

“In the 1990s, Alston served in the National Organization for Women (NOW) as an executive assistant. She was also a co-leader in 1995 to the UN World Conference on Women in Beijing. She was a political organizer for five marches in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. She was an elected member of NOW’s National Board of Directors. Alston also worked as a political consultant and was active in the Democratic Party. She also worked as an events organizer with the Human Rights Campaign. She was active in the recovery movement in Washington, D.C. Alston was an active member of her local church, Unity of Washington.  She was also a leader in the LGBT community and was the acting director of the Washington, D.C. Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs from 2004 until her untimely passing.”

More About The Wanda Alston House:

The Wanda Alston House is the first and only housing program in Washington D.C. that is solely dedicated to offering pre-independent living services to homeless GLBTQ youth ages 16-24. Each young person is assigned a life skills counselor who works each day on issues related to employment/vocational training, housing, and other issues as needed. Each young person is housed in their own room and reside in a house with an advocate with extensive experience with housing and GLBTQ youth issues.

Services Include:

• Individual Counseling
• Support Groups
• Individual Treatment Plans
• Drop In Center
• HIV Prevention Counseling
• Referrals
• Showers
• Laundry
• Life Skills Workshops/Job Training and Educational Assistance
• Computer Lab
• HIV Testing
• Snacks

Wish List:

  • Non-perishable foods
  • Male and Female Hygiene Products
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Office supplies
  • Full sheet and comforter sets
  • Towels and wash cloths
  • New socks, underwear and T-shirts
  • School supplies and book bags.
  • Metro Cards and Fare Cards
  • Gift Cards (CVS, GIANT, Target, Old Navy, H&M)
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Video game systems


All donations are 100% tax deductible.

Monetary donations can also be mailed to the center, and The Wanda Alston House welcomes you to get in touch. Please visit for donation and contact information.


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