Mobile Loaves and Fishes is an organization that dedicates their time to providing help and hope to the homeless in Austin, Texas. Their new project, Community First!, may seem simple at first, but looking deeper into the setup, you can see that this has been thought out. This project is still raising funds, but within a year and a half the project could be fully running and be the first major leap to ending homelessness.
Community First! is an incredibly big project. Mobile Loaves and Fishes has bought 27 acres of land where they will set up a community of the formerly chronically homeless. This project is specifically aimed towards the chronically homeless, which means that they have a disability, are single, and have been homeless for over a year. Mobile Loaves and Fishes has been serving the homeless in Austin for many years, so they have built an abundance of relationships with people who are chronically homeless. Therefore, finding people to fill this village will not be difficult. In order to be apart of this village you must be able to pay for rent. This may seem impossible, but Mobile Loaves and Fishes can help them retrieve money from the government because of their disability. An amazing aspect about Community First! is that not only are they helping the homeless, they’re also helping out the environment. There’s a variety of housing the homeless can choose to live in. The rent goes from 90 dollars a month for the tent shaped home to 375 dollars for a small house. The eco-friendly aspect is that old trailers are purchased and refurbished. This saves money and is a way to provide jobs.
Not only does Community First! allow the homeless a home, but it provides a chance for them to attain a job. Already there are several homeless people that have been provided an income through Mobile Loaves and Fishes because of their skills. Other jobs that will need to be done in the community is gardening and taking care of the animals. There will be a big community garden in the village that will grow all kinds of vegetables. Also there will be chickens, so that there will a constant production of fresh eggs. Another animal that will need to be taken care of are the rabbits who will be used as food because they are able to multiply so quickly and are a great source of protein.
Overall, the Community First! project is trying to save the homeless physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The number one reason people are homeless is because they were previously in a broken family. Living on the streets alone for over a year majorly affects your ability to create connections. Not feeling loved for such a long period of time can be very damaging. In order to reverse this the Community First! project focuses on relationships and connections. Being able to get these people off the streets and placing them in a community surrounded by others allows them to have time to heal, settle, and begin to be productive.
Community First! brings hope to many people’s hearts and I can’t wait to see the final product. You can visit the link below to learn more!