How the Summer Fan Drive benefits Austin’s former homeless

Simple Health

AUSTIN (KXAN) – 76-year-old Jimmy Northen spent years living on the streets. “You had to find good spots to go camping then, but I’m glad it’s different now,” Northen says. Today, he’s one of Austin’s former homeless who lives in his own home at the Community First! Village in East Austin.

As a senior citizen, Family Eldercare assists Northen in paying his bills, cooking, cleaning, linking him up with community resources, and a variety of other activities. They also provide fans to the senior residents at the Community First! Village.

Northen is huge fan of the Summer Fan Drive. He’s attended multiple events over the years and has received 5-6 fans. In 2018, he celebrated his birthday during the Fan Drive event at Threadgills. “It was OK,” he says with a smile. The birthday party was celebrated with Tricia and Allan Graham with Mobile Loves and Fishes, his friends and coordinators with the Mary Lee Foundation, and his Family Eldercare coordinator.

Supporting seniors at the Community First! Village

So how does Northen pay for his home? While Family Eldercare supports him by handling his finances, the Community First! Village’s status as a HUD 202 means it is subsidized by the federal government. This reduces the costs for homes in the village and allows Northen to afford his home with his Social Security benefits. The Mary Lee Foundation provides further support.

While Family Eldercare has had an informal partnership with the Community First! Village for some time, it has recently been formalized. Late last year, the St. David’s Foundation awarded funding for a pilot program to Family Eldercare in partnership with Mobile Loves and Fishes, the group that operates the village. It is with these funds that Family Eldercare is able to operate its services at the Community First! Village.

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