Just a few years ago, I was driving one of our MLF food trucks loaded with volunteers out to hidden areas of town—places you and I would rarely venture into. We were stocked with food and supplies to deliver to our neighbors surviving on the streets. On this particular route, we stopped in a parking lot not far from where many of our homeless friends take shelter in the woods or under the nearby overpass. I noticed a van parked on the far end of the lot. I’ve learned that sometimes a vehicle is also a residence, so I decided to knock on the van door to see if anyone was inside. “Food truck! Hey there! Do you want something to eat?” I asked. A guarded man cautiously opened the door. “Thanks,” he said as he hesitantly accepted the sack lunch.

This was the first time I met my friend Kevin.

What begins with a sandwich and a conversation soon opens the door to community and relationships where they’re needed most.

We struck up a conversation and I learned that Kevin was born in the south, and had traveled across the country following jobs in the construction business. He went to school in the Pacific Northwest to learn marine carpentry. He joked that making a living building wooden boats wasn’t exactly practical, but sharpening his wood crafting skills was his real goal for taking the classes.

For months I would see Kevin as I delivered meals, and we built our friendship sharing coffee and conversation from the back of the food truck.

“I lived in a van for about seven years. It’s so nice to have a home.  This place is amazing! Who wouldn’t want to live here?” Kevin

Your support and generosity helped Kevin find his way home to Community First! Village.
Like Kevin, there are many men and women living on the streets who are trying to survive.

They are hungry, lonely and have no place to call home. Will you open your heart and provide the relief they so desperately need?

Donate Now
to Provide Relief for our
Greatest Need
Donate $250 Micro-Enterprise Supply Costs for Two Artists
Donate $100 Build & Sow A New Resident Farmer’s Garden Bed
Donate $60 Deliver 10 Meals to Our Friends on the Streets

I soon shared with Kevin about Community First! Village. About this same time, one of our loyal volunteers, John Mason, was working with our Community Works team to build a timber frame structure for the Village. Here’s the neat part: John is a master craftsman. Kevin loves woodworking. Connecting these two talented men was a natural match. 

Kevin applied to live in Community First! Village. He immediately began volunteering in the woodshop and served for several months as he waited for a home. During that time John and Kevin, along with other volunteers and neighbors, not only finished the timber frame for the Community Forge, but also built the Community Table, an outdoor dining area where neighbors gather to visit and enjoy meals.

“We enjoyed working together. We were building the timber frame, but we were also building something more important—trust and community.” – John Mason, MLF volunteer

Kevin’s new home provides more than a permanent place to live. It provides him a place where relationships are built and community is thriving. It provides a talented woodcraftsman with hope, healing and friendship.

Our Resident’s Journeys

Jason & Sabrina

I just thought I’d paint something that deeply signifies how I feel about living here in the community.

Lee

I'm really proud to live here.