Alan Graham founded a 27-acre community of tiny houses and homes designed to lift up off the streets the most “outcast, lost, and abandoned people” in Austin, TX: the chronically homeless.
“If God can take a wretch like me, imagine what he can do with the world!” says John, a CommunityFirst! resident.
John Vincent: This guy drives up in his white truck, and he tells me, he says, “Hey, guy. I got a house for you.” And I looked at him, and I goes, “Yeah, you full of sh*t too, bro.” You know, and I walked off.
So two years later, here this guy comes, and he’s handing a bag of food out of his car. “Hey, you want some food?” “Of course, I want some food.” “I still got a house for you,” he tells me.
Community First! Texas
Narrator: In the outskirts of Austin, Texas, you’ll find a whole community built up of tiny houses. This tiny town has an outdoor movie theater, an art studio, an organic garden, and even a tiny chapel. But it’s not a haven for hipsters. It’s a refuge for the chronically homeless.
Alan Graham: You’re standing right now on what we consider a new movement here in the United States called Community First! And you’re on the Community First! Village, a 27-acre master plan community designed to lift up off the streets of Austin, Texas, the most despised, outcast, the most lost and abandoned people that live in our city: the chronically homeless.
Narrator: In 1998, after answering God’s call to serve, Alan and his friends began delivering meals out of the back of a minivan to men and women living on the streets. Years later, the ministry sparked a new vision, a community like no other.
Alan: We believe very profoundly that the single greatest cause to homelessness is a profound catastrophic loss of family. And if there’s been some type of a nuclear bomb thrown into the middle of that family unit, I think it’s up to the village or the community to step in.
Narrator: Alan’s outreach takes him to the very front lines of the battle against homelessness. For some that he serves, the offering of a home is simply unimaginable.
John: If God can take a wretch like me, imagine what he can do with the world. This is heaven, man. I’m home.