A few weeks ago, on May 14, the engineering pathway took a break from school and visited the Community First! trailer park for the homeless. Community First! is a part of Mobile Loaves and Fishes, and is dedicated to helping lift the homeless off the streets. They believe that broken families and the lack of a support structure and resources to rely on are what causes homelessness more than any other reason. Community First! is establishing a place for the homeless to connect, learn, and create a network of friends to support them.
Community First! is very big on the idea of recycling- of taking the old, worn out thing and turning it into something new and beautiful. Their mission is to also reconnect people to the earth, which is a very healing process that will teach the chronically homeless to care for others again. The community being built on a 27 acre plot nearby will house chickens, rabbits, and an extensive garden to promote health. The site will also have a doctor on call, as well as pavilions and workshops. The community will have almost everything necessary for living.
The goal is to serve homeless people and help create a network for them to rely on. However, there are also many smaller goals that will be reached along the way- teach people to care for the earth, to create lasting friendships, to educate the public on homelessness and its causes. The homeless in the community will have to pay rent, which requires a steady job- which often isn’t difficult to do, as the homeless have many talents just waiting to be unearthed. A tent is $90 per year, a Microhome is $200 a year, an RV is $325 per year, and a Park Home is $375 per year. Most trailers are bought, though some are donated, and most get revamped to better suit their purposes. All people applying for residency go through a thorough background check; however, most people are not turned away because of a felony charge, unless it is a violent crime or the person is a sex offender. This background check also serves the purpose of determining if the individual is eligible for financial aid from the government.
Community First! is doing excellent work within the community to help struggling people get back on their feet. Everything about this project seems to support our mission statement, in particular the lines, “to live a healthy and well balanced lifestyle,” and “to solve problems creatively and ethically in support of our global community.” While Community First! is still small, I have no doubt that it will grow and effect more and more of our world. Please visit www.mlf.org for more information.