For me, the best part of living in Community First! Village is my neighbors. As I write this, about 170 formerly homeless men and women are now at home in this unique neighborhood. As I get to know my neighbors around the Village, I find myself amazed, humbled and inspired by them. My friend Richard is someone who inspires me daily.

Throughout his life, Richard found it difficult to fit in with other people. Childhood friendships were few and he never had much success developing lasting relationships with coworkers or neighbors. Sometimes he even felt detached from his own family. This lack of connection left him feeling as if he didn’t belong anywhere. He drifted between cities and jobs until he found himself homeless and struggling to survive.

Housing will never solve homelessness, but community will.

Like Richard, there are many men and women struggling to survive on the streets of Austin.

They are hungry, lonely and have no place to call home. Will you open your heart and provide the relief so desperately needed?
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Because of your generosity, lives like Richard’s are transformed as we lift our homeless neighbors off the streets into a place of permanence and community.

“The love we are shown here makes this not just a place to live, but we are a part of a community. We are connected to each other.” – Richard

A couple of years ago, Richard discovered Community First! Village. He now has a permanent place to live. He is connected with his community and has a sense of belonging. He has found home.

Richard is one of the most connected people I know and his impact is felt daily all around the Village. He is a gardener in Genesis Gardens and manages the free farmers market for his neighbors. He leads tours with volunteers and serves on the Community Council as a representative of his neighborhood block. He also volunteers with other neighbors on the Community First! Village food truck that goes out to the streets to feed and serve his homeless friends.

One of Richard’s favorite programs at the Village is Home Street Music. Each week, neighbors and volunteers gather to make music. Richard and his friends wrote this song together about Richard’s life today. Now safe at home in Community First! Village, Richard has “Nothing to Fear.”

“When I first moved into the Village, the best part wasn’t having walls or a roof – it was belonging. This is my home and I belong here!” – Richard

Our Resident’s Journeys

Lee

I'm really proud to live here.

Shelia

Living here has brought change to my life, and now I am able to help somebody else. This is how to build a community.

Hear more of Richard Devore’s story in his conversation with Alan Graham, and Richard’s gratitude for the little ways in which he feels appreciated on a daily basis.
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