Mark Horvath and Alan Graham on Community First and Tiny Houses

This really is a tough post to begin as a result of there may be so much to say about Alan Graham and his wonderful work serving to our homeless pals. Back in July of 2009, Alan was partly liable for convincing me into taking the chance of touring across the U.S. to investigate homelessness for the very time. We just hooked up on social media and he kept inviting me, even making an offer to cover a number of the . Thing was, Alan knew precisely how terrific his dream was and as soon as I arrived, he knew I'd turn out to be an evangelist for his work.

Seems like only yesterday that I taped this video of Alan bringing me round one of his catering vans ( Although having a army of food trucks to help construct relationships is fairly superb, it is giving our homeless pals actual dignity and the ability of selection – that's the lesson Alan's work taught me.

During that initial visit Alan brought me the grand plans for a plot of land he had the dream of remodeling into what he calls “Community First Village”. At the time, it was all on paper and in Alan's heart. He had already been utilizing a variation of a fast rehousing model to get our continual homeless pals the streets into their very own RV, but also buying a big parcel of land had still to occur. As I write this, I remembered Alan pitching Lee Leffingwell, Austin's Mayor, who joined us out on the streets.

Each year as I go to SXSW in Austin I at all times make it some extent to spend a while with Alan, and every year he has one thing new and wonderful going on. Last year I posted this story: At SXSW Helping Homeless People Is Delicious With Street Treats that highlighted Alan's continued creating social enterprise methods for our buddies on the road to generate .

This year, Alan was in a position to tour me across the beginnings of “Community First Village”! There actually are no phrases to explain how glad I am for him and our homeless mates, who will quickly be calling the place “home”. I know this dream has been in Alan's heart for years and there was a couple of setbacks in attempting to make all of it occur, however there isn't any stopping now what could be the coolest model in preventing homelessness I have ever seen.

One would possibly name this a Tiny Home group, however Alan was fast to inform me that tiny homes have been round for a really very long time and are nothing new. Ten years in the past Alan housed a homeless man in an RV and he began to dream about a spot where folks couldn't solely get a roof over their head and a meal, but also healing. That dream has now grown to a 27 acre master-prepared neighborhood that can present reasonably priced, sustainable housing and a supportive group for the disabled, chronically homeless in Central .

While I was visiting, a church youth group was constructing a chapel for the group. You only need to spend a second with Alan to know he's a Follower of Jesus. To me, that is the model more religion based companies ought to comply with. Each  individual, irrespective of of spiritual beliefs or sexual orientations, can turn out to be a part of the Community First Village. Church companies and locations for healing are provided, but are by no means mandated. Everyone still is allowed the dignity of selection!

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