The Austin Community Solving Chronic Homelessness

The Austin Community Solving Chronic Homelessness


The Community First village is the craziest place I’ve ever been, and ever lived. Ohhhhhhh! I love this place. What we’re doing here in Austin, Texas has never been done anywhere in the United States of America or the world. Mobile Loaves & Fishes has created a new movement designed To lift the most chronically homeless men and women of our community up off the streets. When I look back on it, It was nothing short of a miracle. The current system for addressing chronic homelessness in the United States of America is absolutely not working. This is a human issue that requires a human response. -Peanut butter and jelly or meat and cheese? -Need a blanket, bro? Mobile Loaves & Fishes was started back in 1998 in order to feed the homeless in Austin, Texas. When the truck goes out, those that are serving and those that are being served are on the same side of the serving counter. -Oreos, cookies? Water? There’s no disconnect and this requires a
human-to-human, heart-to-heart relationship. -Yeah, I know what it means. It’s a simple thing. And that, singularly, was the game changer. Truly that food truck ministry is what taught us what we needed to know in order to build Community First! village. In 2004, I came up with this idea that we could go out and buy a gently used recreational vehicle. Lift somebody up off the streets. And I started fantasizing as the serial entrepreneur that I am Why can’t we build an RV park? Community First! Village is a 51-acre master-planned community that is designed to lift the chronically homeless up off the streets of Austin. Mobile Loaves & Fishes cares for the people who have experienced long-term homelessness Many of them 5, 10, 15 even 20 plus years at that point, they have experienced so much trauma. We believe that the single greatest cause of homelessness, particularly in our country, is a profound catastrophic loss of family. I was married for eight years. I got a divorce in ’92. I lost my house and my world because I lost custody of my son, full custody. It devastated me, so I medicated myself with drugs To tell you the truth, I really didn’t want to live anymore But coming to Community First, it’s been one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Our role is to really bring them into a community where they are loved and cared about and where they have an opportunity to begin the process of healing from all of that trauma. At Mobile Loaves & Fishes, our only goal is to inspire communities into a lifestyle of service with the homeless. That’s it. The neighbors that live at Community First! village are incredibly gifted human beings. One of the joys of the work that we do is being able to give them the opportunity to put those gifts and talents to work. We create micro-enterprise opportunities for our neighbors to earn a dignified income doing things that they love to do. We have a car care business, art house, the pottery operation, a blacksmithing shop… a wood shop and a full-blown organic farming operation. Over the last two years we’ve paid out more than a million dollars to our neighbors. That’s putting money back into their pockets to help them to be able to earn a living and enjoy life here All of us desire to have purpose in our life. Community First Village is transforming the lives of everyone who’s a part of this community. This place, it’s really empowered me to do great things. I have my own family here. A real family that pulled me up and loved me when I couldn’t love myself. This is where I got my life back. Housing will never solve homelessness, but community will. Catalysts highlights social entrepreneurs exploring bold solutions to big problems. Subscribe to Freethink to be the first to see new episodes.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

30 thoughts on “The Austin Community Solving Chronic Homelessness

  1. That's the dang truth, housing won't fix homelessness, but community will. We have lost the sense of community in this country. Even in the Great State of Texas.

  2. I would love to see more communities like this across the world. It takes a large seed of money to start it but it can change so many lives

  3. This project is helping fight homelessness more effective than any government program I have ever heard of.

  4. “Housing will never solve homeless, but community will.” This single line is so powerful and what America, and the rest of the world for that matter, needs to focus on.

  5. SO SHWEEEETTT…much love Tee with LIONS NAMED LEO.[the music worldwide}

    …sign me up..Tee at 661 546 3844…….24/7

  6. Omg this man is God sent. This just made me cry. I went thru homelessness. I had a young son. It was so devastating. I cried alot. I had no money no car. No hope. My family didn't even want to help. I know this feeling. I lost all my sons pictures from birth. Everything. All we had.

  7. Wonderful! Good job Austin. You need the support of the community but also the local gov't. If your local leaders won't cooperate you cannot move forward and there are local gov'ts that will stand in your way even if the idea is the right idea. What you have done in Austin is truly great!

  8. You know those people in Austin Texas are disciples of Jesus. How wonderful the people who put that together for homeless people. Finally something right to help those wonderful people. God Bless them all !!

  9. This is beautiful! I never felt right with being behind a table/counter serving! There’s no divide.. This really warmed my heart.. Blessings ☺️🙏🏼👍🏼

  10. this is the most beautiful thing I've seen in years. Just seeing this is a blessing to me. Bless you all each and every one. Thanks for brightening my day

  11. Statistics show that almost all homeless people choose to be homeless because of their drug addictions , For whatever reasons they have turned to drugs and have chosen to live on the streets. So in order to help homeless people you have to treat their addiction also if they have one. That's a must. This looks like an amazing community and hopefully the ones with addictions are getting the treatments that they need.

  12. PRAISE GOD! Yes, LORD. What You want us to do to show Your love and help lift our brothers and sisters. 🙌🏽🔥♥️🙏🏽🕊️✝️

  13. He is so correct. I would say home HOMELESSNESS IS CAUSED BY CATASTROFIC LOSS OF FAMILY. And there are many reasons that happens. You don't have to be a drug addict. My husband shot himself. We lost everything and our rock that day.

  14. Just saw the ad run before a video to discover your organization! God Bless you guys for doing this! I'm thankful to have disability and housing assistance, but know so many people out there with a disability and can't work full time to support themselves and the housing lists everywhere stay closed. Only hope they have is family and if they don't have that they couch surf until they end up homeless. So grateful for your work and hope it will expand in DFW area where I live. I don't have much money, but would love to volunteer and help in any way I can.

  15. I Love this!!!! Beautiful acts of love and so refreshing to see such kindness and compassion. God bless you for helping all these people.👍

  16. God's inspiration led to good people creating a community that these homeless people can call home.

    Every city government should look to this solution for many cases of systemic homelessness.

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