Community Works


At last week’s event in Austin, Texas celebrating Mobile Loaves & Fishes 20th anniversary and groundbreaking on Phase II of their hugely successful Community First Village, John Paul committed $1.6 million to the new Community Works building — a center for entrepreneurs and artisans to get trained, a space to work and a space to exhibit beautiful things for sale.

Community First! Phase II will include housing for more than 300 people suffering from chronic homelessness. Already, Phase I has provided housing (and so much more!) for around 250 men and women. There is a community farm, chicken coop, chapels, Alamo Drafthouse outdoor cinema, an Inn (you can stay there!), dog park, auto shop (come get your car inspected or oil changed!), art and ceramics studio and hair salon (with Paul Mitchell products, of course).

This new expansion will include a desperately needed clinic for the neighborhood that includes respite and hospice care. In the last few months alone, MLF has lost four community members, all of whom will be interred at Community First — it’s a dignified place to live and die. MLF is a place to belong, a place to build hope. John Paul and Eloise both love to see what’s been added with every visit. This time, the ceramic artists really blew us away. MLF is a great place to get involved if you’re in Austin. If you’d like to bring something like MLF to your community, they also hold trainings for getting this model up and running around the country.

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