First add a little Love, a lot of Hope, a Garden and a nice heap of Community

The homeless is everywhere. In just Austin, Texas alone there is currently around 2,300 people who are homeless. 900 who are chronically homeless, or have been with out a home for over a year.

Mobiles Loaves and Fishes (MLF) , an Austin organization founded in 1998, was built with the idea of in serving the Lord, to help others as he would. They began to help the homeless of Austin, making sack lunches and kits. From MLF branched out the Community First! which allows the homeless to leave the streets, put them in a sustainable housing for an affordable price, where they can rebuild what was lost emotional and physically while being homeless.

Community First! comprises of a 27 acres of land, plotted out specifically with the four different housing options :

  • Tepee/ Tent (Cost $90 a month)
  • Micro-House (Cost $200 a month)
  • Eco Friendly RV (Cost $325 a month)
  • Park Model Homes (Cost $375 a month)

With these four different housing options, the 27 acres of land can easily provide living space for 200 homeless people .In the Community First! the homeless come together as a community to help grow the many vegetables (such as tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers), take care of the various animals in the barnyards( There were chickens, rabbits and free range tilapia), receive health care and be able to attend church.

The people of  Community First! begin develop a sense of community, while living on the 27 acres, because the people that all live in these rented places of living, were all once chronically homeless, there they learn to rebuild themselves up and grow a new sense of hope .

The coolest thing I saw at the Community First! center was these amazing swings, made from refurbished pieces of wood and painted in bright colors to be hung on trees, to be used. This sense of reusing what was old and making into something new, really goes hand in hand with our mission statement. In part of the ARS mission statement it reads:

Solve problems creatively and ethically in support of our global community”

Community First! really does fully embodies this statement, by creatively finding a solution to help the chronically homeless. The refurbished housing, which originally would have been destroyed or in a land fill, is providing housing for a person. Creating a positive cycle of change, that not only benefits the homeless, but all the earth.

For more information about Community First! please visit :

http://mlf.org/community-first/

-Toni Akunebu

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