Community First Village

There's something to be said about living in excess. It's a viewpoint I took from The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It's hard not to get caught up in materialistic things, like the big house, the nice cars, the exquisite furnishings, and expensive clothing. It's easy to lose track of having too much and forgetting all the little (but important) things we take for granted. 

I find myself constantly wondering what my life purpose is.  Perhaps that's why I thrive on a goal-driven atmosphere. I want to leave an impact/legacy at the end of my life. I want to make a difference. I want to be a part of something big, and not just in the monetary sense. For the first part of my career, I devoted myself to several different types of brands, products, businesses and helped flourish the growth of for-profit organizations. I loved it, but I knew I wanted to try out the non-profit sector too. Working with Sustainability in Austin has really transformed the way I think about my future. It has challenged me, it has pushed me beyond the bounds of my comforts. 

It has also given me opportunities like this one. To tour the Community First Village — a 27-acre master-planned community that will provide affordable, sustainable housing and a supportive community for the disabled, chronically homeless in Central Texas.  This community was designed not only to give the chronically homeless a place to live, but the chance to feel part of a community. Housing itself doesn't solve the problem.

These tiny homes all have essential furnishings like beds, and some even have mini fridges and/or small appliances. However, bathrooms, full kitchens, and laundry are all communal. This is to help facilitate the sense of community. The Village also has an on-site farm with vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and chickens; a health center, small market, tiny chapel, library, an onsite bus stop, park, outdoor theater, free burger Fridays, farmers market Saturdays, art center, and so much more. 

But what really struck me was when Alan Graham (President of Mobile Loaves Fishes) emphasized the importance of having a place to sleep and shower. Could you imagine not having access to either of those things? Especially while trying to keep a job or look for one? Most of us don't think twice about where we're going to sleep or when our next shower might be. Something seemingly so small but essential that we often take for granted.

There's so much to be said and so much amazing work happening here. But I'll conclude by sharing some photos of this incredible tour and eye opening experience.