AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin community that’s already permanently housed 220 formerly homeless people is gearing up for a big expansion — and the addition of 1,400 micro-homes to help more people in need.
Community First! Village, located in northeast Travis County, is an initiative operated by the Mobile Loaves & Fishes social outreach ministry. It’s a 51-acre housing development, where those coming out of chronic homelessness can find not only tiny homes to rent affordably, but services and resources to help them along the way.
It’s what Mobile Loaves CEO and Founder Alan Graham calls, ” a hand-up, not handout” model.
That’s because Community First! also offers what it calls “micro-enterprise opportunities” — which are on-site skill-building and job opportunities, all with the hope of helping residents become self-sufficient.
“Our goal is to try to get people what we call a dignified income,” Graham told KXAN in 2019. “That allows them to live in a community like this, pay their rent, have transportation, cover their medical expenses and clothing and go out to eat a couple times a month, and believe it or not, that’s about $1,200 a month.”
And the Village is about to grow exponentially.
The 1,400 micro-homes will be built on 127 new acres of property — bringing the community to a total size of 178 acres featuring 1,900 micro-homes.
Moore says he hopes what’s happening at Community First! will serve as an example for other cities.
“[I hope] there will come a time when the entire United States will look at Austin, Texas, as the ones who finally figured out how to mitigate this pandemic that we call homelessness,” he says.