Community First Village

Wealth & Poverty Review Solutions to Homelessness: Austin’s Community First! Village

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.

Caitlin Cory

Communications Coordinator, Discovery Institute
Caitlin Cory is the Communications Coordinator for Discovery Institute. She has previously written for Discovery on the topics of homelessness and mental illness, as well as on Big Tech and its impact on human freedom. Caitlin grew up in the Pacific Northwest, graduated from Liberty University in 2017 with her Bachelor's in Politics and Policy, and now lives in Maryland with her husband.