Plans are moving ahead in the Austin area to house about 200 people who are chronically homeless. Community First Village has been about a decade in the making and in just a matter of months, it will break ground.
The property is 27 acres, with little cottages, mobile homes and even some teepees dotting the landscape. A three-acre community garden is also on-site.
Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League is one of the project’s staunchest supporters. In a nod to NIMBY politics, He calls it “the very first ‘yes, in my backyard’ project!’”
Mobile Loaves and Fishes’ Alan Graham, the man behind the project, says one reason many in the nearby community are on board is because there will also be a bed and breakfast in the village and an Alamo Drafthouse outdoor movie theater.
“We haven’t converted everybody, but when people come out here they go, ‘Oh!’ They see a chapel; they see medical and vocational services on site, and they learn that residents will not live there for free; they’ll pay a monthly rent.”
Graham adds that if 200 chronically homeless people get back on their feet, that could save Central Texas taxpayers about $10 million a year.