I am Rev. Whittney-Marie and I'm the Founder and Executive Director of Come As You Are Collective (CAYA). CAYA is an organization that provides affirming, accessible, and affordable Spiritual Direction and Licensed Mental Health Services to the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC community
As a LGBTQ+ person in brown skin and a body that’s understood as female, it ain’t easy finding care. Not only is the search for a support professional daunting, but it can also feel unsafe. So many questions flood to the surface as I search.
"Will they see my name and stereotype me? Will they misgender me or use the wrong pronouns? Can I put my same-sex partner as my emergency contact? Will they shame me for being queer?"
If you’re like me, you must put a ton of “qualifier” words in your search so that you can weed out as much potential harm as possible. The search can be exhausting and triggering if our results omit to filter out the spaces that don’t accept our full humanity.
Here’s where the idea of Come As You Are Collective was birthed.
In my experience, social service organizations and systems of care tend to disregard the voices of the melanated, the accented, and the not-quite-straight.
CAYA's intentionality and sensitivity to diverse religious, spiritual, and cultural practices and values has allowed for us to curate mutually created safe spaces, provide intentional counseling, and advocate for marginalized communities beyond borders of normativity within social systems.
All in all, we’ve got you.
Come. We care. Always!
All of our services are based on the "Barter to 'Pay What You Can'" scale. This allows us to separate capital and care as they are not synonymous. We believe that all deserve care, regardless of their ability to pay.
So, this is where you can come and be a part of the collective.
You can donate any amount. Here's a donation guide:
$125 Provides Therapy for One Client
$75 Provides Spiritual Direction for One Client
$25 Provides Affinity Group Admissions for One Participant
Any amount helps us fill the void in spiritual and mental health services for the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC community.
Thank you in advance.
We've got this!