austin-monthly-dennis“I grew up in the Houston-Galveston area and everywhere in between there. I worked for another nonprofit in town called Imagine Art. I cooked for them for two-and-a-half years, and then they voted me out of their budget. I was sort of in limbo. Then one day I saw Steve Hebbard, who is sort of Alan (Graham’s) right-hand man. He saw me walking down the road and said, ‘Hey, I’ve been looking for you.’ I said, ‘You have?’ He wanted me to come cook here. The rest is history. My part-time job is slowly turning into a full-time job. There’s lots of high expectations [about Community First! Village]. We’ve been waiting a good long time. We got behind because of the rain a few months ago, but it’s all coming together. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to see. I’ve been around volunteers a lot, but I’ve never seen this kind of volunteer. People are really dedicated. I’ve never seen volunteers this anxious to help, and there’s so many of them. To me, that’s amazing. And people from all over the country are coming to see it. It’s a model-type thing. The hope is this won’t be the only one, just the first.”

From Austin Monthly – December 2015