Founder of the Lynxs Group and Trilogy Development, Alan Graham has made homes for hundreds of homeless people. The Community First! Village in Austin, Texas has been adorned with several facilities for all the homeless, which include organic gardens, an outdoor theatre, tiny homes, study areas, worship places, walking trails, and an inn that make this place a heavenly abode for several people.
Started by a father of five – Alan Graham, Austin’s homelessness program’s phase one has been a dream!
More than 20 years ago, this real estate industry magnet was one of the most recognised businessmen. Graham looked into the needs of Austin’s homeless community and started acting on it. In 1998, he formed the Mobile Loaves & Fishes (MLF) for distributing basic food and clothing to the homeless.
After a few years, the Houston Flake, a famous Security Hardware Company, joined this team, making it a game changer. Since then, MLF had been distributing more than 5.5 million meals with replicated models being formed across the country. With the motive of “love thy neighbour,” the team helped in making the lives of many people better and enriching. However, Graham saw something more to it. Even though a meal was comforting, there was still one factor missing in providing such people with a safe and secure life.
Community First! Village – For the Homeless
To solve this problem, Graham started thinking and laying over several ideas to his people. After a series of ideas, he came up with the idea of Community First! Village. He had everything he needed to set this up – a magnificent real estate career, and much labour help from the women and men who needed homes. Foreseeing all this, the idea of Community Village! first came in the year 2005.
Giving a home to more than 200 people, phase one of Community First! Village completed on May 21st 2019. Many of the men and women homed in this village have battled chronic homelessness or addiction to finally attain a house for themselves. Being called “The True Heart of Austin,” this neighbourhood is more than just rows of tiny homes and RV houses. It is a community that helps the formerly homeless people to rest, heal, and have a place to call ‘home’.
Inside the Community First! Village for Homeless
The organic kitchen garden in the community supplies fresh produce to the residents. The community also includes a woodworking shop, a blacksmith shop, and a car garage for the members to find work. Apart from this, there is a community kitchen, study spaces, an art studio, and a medical facility for the members. The guests of the community are welcomed into some of the quirkiest lodgings with community bed and breakfast. There are additional walking trails, spaces for worship, and also a memorial garden for recreation and praying.
The second phase of Community First! Village started around a year ago. Alan Graham is planning to complete this soon and provide homes to around 500 more homeless. These 500 people will be close to half of the chronically homeless population of Austin.
Mobile Loaves & Fishes for the long run!
Apart from the ambitious second phase, Graham also runs the ‘Gospel con Carne.’ This is a podcast that explores stories of the trials and tribulations of the homeless.
The initial project started by Graham, Mobile Loaves & Fishes still serves lunch and dinner for free on the streets of Austin. It provides food for 7-days a week and throughout the year – helping homeless people all around. This is expected to continue for as long as it can!
Isn’t this a truly inspiring story? We hope to get more people like Alan Graham for the betterment of the lives of the people!
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