The Upper East Side of Trailers

For an engineering field trip we had the opportunity to visit the mock version of Mobile Loaves and Fishes Community First! project.  The basis of their program is to help the chronically homeless get into a home and on their feet again.  The end goal is to have a close knit community made up of tents, micro houses, rvs, and parked homes.  This plot of land that they have chosen to be this community is 27 acres and is half a mile from where the Austin Rodeo is held every year.

The living space isn’t free, the homeless must pay to live there but it ends up being pretty cheap.  A tent is $90 a month, a microhouse $200, an rv $325, and a parked home $375.  The homeless start making the community, there is a garden to tend for chickens and rabbits to raise, furniture to build and sell for a profit.  Skills that any person may have is put to use.  People with good sales skills go and sell ice cream downtown.  Having the formerly homeless have a job makes them feel more part of the community and a way to pay for their living.

The actual trailers themselves are extremely nice.  They are designed very cutely.  SOme more modern and some more retro.  The retro one in particular is what I hope out trailer ends up looking like.  Seeing those trailers helped me imagine what ours will look like.  That they can in fact be quite stylish and comfortable (although theirs were quite a bit larger than ours).  We can incorporate Community First and Project Ventura by using it as a role model to form an Ann Richards Community where a group of girls can “rent” the trailer for a weekend and have to take care of themselves and each other in order to be successful and have fun.

I would like to go and see the real Community First! project once it is ready which if all goes right will be in around 9 months.  The idea is truly beautiful and I hope it all goes smoothly.

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