Groups and individuals across the country often contact Mobile Loaves & Fishes to inquire about our unique “Community First!” approach in response to homelessness. So many have asked us to help them unpack these principles and practices that we decided to create a three-day Symposium dedicated to the task.

The Symposium for Goodness’ Sake is tailored for individuals and organizations interested in learning the essentials behind the inner workings of Community First! Village and how they can get started on a similar project with purpose.

From the individual who longs to help the panhandler on the corner, to the team who plan to launch a Community First! movement in their own cities, each Symposium attendee will be empowered by this paradigm-breaking, faith-based approach to caring for the chronically homeless with compassion and dignity.

The Symposium for Goodness’ Sake is far more than a simple overview of Community First! Village. Attendees participate in an interactive immersive learning experience. The essential components that constitutes the operations at the Community First! Village will be presented. Topics covered include property management, resident care, and our micro-enterprises plus so much more! Additionally, attendees will be exposed to the Community First! philosophies, values and approach which make Mobile Loaves & Fishes’ work unique and distinctively effective. Through interactive talks, workshops, tours and other consultative guidance, the Mobile Loaves & Fishes team will be sharing more than two decades’ worth of experience.

For those interested in bringing the Community First! model back to their own cities, the Symposium for Goodness’s Sake is the indispensable first step on your journey. It also provides the foundation needed to participate in the Community First! replication pathway created to support leaders and organizations committed to the complex, faith-building and fulfilling endeavor of transforming your community. We invite you to jump in!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Upcoming Symposiums

Our Quarterly Symposiums are held in February, May, August and November. We are returning to this quarterly schedule beginning in May 2022. Registration for Symposiums is by email invitation only. Subscribe below to indicate your interest in attending a future Symposium!

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Symposium Testimonials

“Throughout your time at Community First! Village and this symposium you will see, learn, and experience what it means to be “human to human and heart to heart”. The staff, lifted neighbors, and missional neighbors, all opened themselves and their home up to us completely.  This symposium will grow you and your team (we are excited to be bringing more of our team back soon). You may even find yourself in an unexpected place, with a new definition and desire for what “home” really looks like… surrounded by the messy AND enveloped by the beautiful tapestry around you. Go. You won’t regret it.”

Sarah Grounds, The City Lights Foundation of Oklahoma

“Just Say Yes to attending the Symposium for Goodness’ Sake!  It is an inspiring and powerful example of what saying yes can do.  There is nothing better than connecting human to human and heart to heart.  I am full of gratitude for the courage, strategic leadership and hope that I experienced at Community First Village!”

Marti Lawrence

“The Symposium for Goodness Sake was a huge part of my calling to lift the homeless off the streets in my home town of Midland. It allowed me to get a glimpse of relationship based help for the most vulnerable and understand the value of community. After participating in the first Symposium, my wife, daughter and I left our careers, sold our home, and moved into an RV for the Community Corps program at the village. We came to learn the nuts and bolts of building and operating a tiny home community for the formerly homeless, but we left with hearts transformed forever. Since then we have sent everyone we can to Symposium to help them catch the vision of what Community First! can do in our town.”

John-Mark Echols, The Field's Edge
Community First! Village: A New Movement