Nearly 350 individuals formerly experiencing homelessness reside in Austin’s Community First! Village, which provides permanent housing and sits just outside Austin’s city limits. The community is an enclave of tiny homes, microhomes, and RV’s. Through a series of new investments, Community First plans to soon triple its footprint. Started by Alan Graham, a former real estate developer, Community First is truly a community; it hosts an art studio, a jewelry-making station, a tiny home hotel, an auto shop, and an amphitheater. Residents are expected to pay their way, though rent and utilities are scaled to enable homeless people to transition into life at Community First! Village. The community first launched as a primarily private venture, with Graham lining up angel investors to see the vision and partnering with companies to create houses and provide materials needed for maintenance and upkeep. A $36.6 million grant from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, announced last December, will anchor the plans to create an additional 1,400 homes for the homeless through a $150 million capital campaign.

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