All is not lost. Our politicians may not have a grasp on how to fix homelessness, but ordinary people might.
Take, for instance, Alan Graham and his Community First! Village in Austin, Texas. What started as a mobile food truck serving the homeless has exploded into a 51-acre RV community providing not just a home, but a transformed life, to those experiencing chronic homelessness.
Alan makes a moving statement in the above video: “We believe that the single greatest cause of homelessness, particularly in our country, is a profound, catastrophic loss of family.”
This is the heartbeat of the Community First! Village. Yes, the homeless need a home. But more than that, they need the supportive care of a community – of family. “No man is an island,” as the saying goes.
In Ending Homelessness: Why We Haven’t, How We Can, Michelle McHenry-Edrington shares her own story of how she became homeless after intentionally keeping family and friends in the dark about her situation:
“I was too proud to tell my family what I was going through, I couldn’t tell my friend Gino because I didn’t want to seem helpless or sound needy, and Toni, well, I had been so happy and sure of myself about the move to Colorado that I didn’t want to sound like a failure.”
Michelle’s story ends well. Many stories do not. Alan’s village is a beacon of hope and a reminder that there are creative solutions to homelessness.