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Community First! Village - Austin, Texas

Community First! Village is an innovative community that was constructed to provide permanent housing and a supportive environment for people who had previously been chronically homeless in Austin.

Community First! Village provides housing for 350 residents. When the next phase is soon completed, the village will provide housing for 500 formerly homeless people.

Community First! Village is mostly privately funded and relies on the support of the many volunteers who contribute their time and resources as well as the community organizations, donors, business leaders, and churches that help support this effective solution for lifting people out of homelessness.


Sean - When I first got here I couldn't stand it. I'd been living on the streets for six years. I had been basically eating out of trash cans, you know maybe a step up from that, and just fending for myself and trusting nobody, I mean absolutely nobody.

I got here, everybody smiles at you and says have a nice day, and you're like...I don't believe you for one second. And you come to find out they're for real, that's the amazing part about it, there's no veil here. There's nothing being covered, no lies being spoken... It's a bunch of people who care about other people, helping and making the best of a bad situation.


When I was fighting for my life in the hospital, nobody knew where I was. This place sent a flier out for me. Me, somebody who I can't remember the last time somebody ever gave two cents about me, right? They sent a flier out to figure out where I was. I was in the hospital. Why, because they cared. You know, it's amazing.


I ended up on the streets due to cocaine. 100%. I love saying that out loud to people. Misdirection was some of it. I had bad spending habits at one time. And you put that on top of a cocaine addiction and you just's a recipe for disaster. You're not making it out of that.

I've given up a lot of things in life, but I've gained the opportunity to live, the opportunity to have a life you know. I look at life differently than a lot of people I think sometimes. I think a little more poetic, too poetic sometimes, but it's the truth though.

Fred - I've been here for two years. Before I moved here I was homeless for...about eight years, and it was hard. I was, you know, on the streets of course and having to deal with the weather and finding a place to even stay cool or stay warm. That's the main thing that I focused on was trying to stay warm, dry, and cool, you know.


Before that...I'm a crane operator and I had a good life. I mean, I had a good life but I just...some things happened in my life to where, uh, put me in a position to where I couldn't work, so I was disabled. I was out of work and it all started from there when I was unable to work, so that was my downfall.


What I like most about this place is that I can live here and I also work here, so I don't have to go anywhere to get things I need. I work for property beautification, which is like landscaping. I get to work with the volunteers that come here.

Chrisey and Brian

Chrisey: I was homeless for ten years. My advocate got me out here. At first in the beginning I didn't appreciate it, because it's hard to transition over. Today, it's beautiful. I don't want to go homeless ever again.


Brian: I lived on the streets for three years. I like where I'm at. I'm off the streets. I don't have to go and find a place to take a shower at, a place I can go eat. I got staff here that work with me. I got a job here.

Skye - I was homeless because they evicted me illegally during the Covid -19 epidemic. I lived in a tent under the bridge on the intersection highway 35 and 45th Street for 9 months and stayed with my friends for 2 years.


I like to help neighbors as much as possible. I enjoy working here on site. I do grounds-keeping and janitorial work.


My cat's name is Twinkie.

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