As you’ve seen on this month’s cover, the annual CADS Officer Installation Dinner is being held at the Community First! Village, and I would like to first urge you to attend. This meeting is NOT just for the incoming officers, but is always open to all members, and is one of the most enjoyable meetings of the year, and this year should be no exception. The Capital Star and CADS emails often only highlight dental issues, opportunities, etc., so it is very likely that our readers are not familiar with Austin’s Community First! Village (I’ll admit that I wasn’t until very recently). Let’s start at the beginning…in 1998, a guy with a heart for the less fortunate, Alan Graham, and a small group of like minded friends began serving meals to the area homeless out of the back of a mini-van. Twenty years later, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, the faith-based result of that first food run, has delivered 5 million meals with the help of over 19,000 volunteers. Seven days a week, 365 days a year, the Mobile Loaves and Fishes fleet is out there delivering food, water, hygiene-products, clothing, friendship, and hope to our area homeless.
The success of the truck ministry has led to the next chapter in the Mobile Loaves and Fishes outreach…Community First! Village.
Community First! Village is a 27-acre master planned community that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for the disabled, chronically homeless in Central Texas. This transformative residential program exists to love and serve our neighbors who have been living on the streets, while also empowering the surrounding community into a lifestyle of service with the homeless. Since 2005, it has become the largest community-based model in the country lifting homeless men and women up off the streets into community and home.
You need to see it for yourself, but CFV is a real community, not a shelter or a reservation. Residents live in their own housing (mini houses, RVs, canvas cottages), they work, learn a trade, produce food, get needed medical attention, and gain a sense of home and hope. Mobile Loaves and Fishes (and the Community First! Village) has become one of the most inspiring success stories in Austin, if not the country, and you will be moved when you experience it. Please join us on May 17 and come see for yourself! There is more to the story…check it out at https://mlf.org
By Jonathon R. Kimes, DDS