Faced with a sharp increase in the number of homelessness in 2015, one Austin-area non-profit foundation, Mobile Loaves & Fishes, has devised an innovative program in waging a war in favor of the destitute.
Passed the developmental stage, Community First Village (CFV) opened April 2 with the goal of offering shelter to 250 of Austin’s homeless in 140 homes by the end of 2017.
Forty formerly homeless persons have since take up residence in homes on the 27-acre site and pay $225 per month rent.
Tenants have the privilege of privacy in each dwelling; however, they share communal bathrooms, showers, kitchens and laundry facilities. Support to meet the overall cost of residency rests in an outdoor movie theater, a bed and breakfast staffed by residents and volunteers and a farm which yields produce sold to Austin residents.
To be eligible for residency, applicants must show proof of chronic homelessness; they must submit fingerprints to the FBI, and undergo a criminal background check.
Formed by long-time homeless champion Alan Graham, CFV is one of many anti-poverty programs of the Mobile Loaves & Fishes group Graham runs.
“I got the idea that we could lift a chronically homeless individual up off the streets into a gently used recreational vehicle,” he said. “I had this wild and crazy idea to develop an RV park on steroids.”
Faced with homeless estimates in Austin surpassing 2,200, 900 of which are described as chronic homeless, Graham sought to help the homeless and alleviate Austin’s citizens from being saddled with additional tax burden.
[mlf.org] [The Independent] [Photo courtesy dailytexanonline.com]