Homeless Housing Project to Open This Fall

A distinctive new residential community project is underway in Austin, Texas, that will provide affordable, sustainable housing and a supportive community for the chronically homeless in Central Texas. Promoted under the tag line "Goodness Has a Building Code: Everybody Sleeps Inside", Community First! Village is a 27-acre master-planned project including an mix of affordable housing options and community facilities. FOX News Ch. 7 provided a sneak peek on the construction and featured the "Porch With A Home" design by Page that is being replicated several times throughout the village.

​According to Shelby Blessing, a designer at Page and a member of the "Porch With A Home" team, the experience to date has been defined by the level of collaboration among the multitude of firms and people working together on Community First! Village. As Shelby points out, the Page design team - which also includes Natalie Cook and Matthew Leach - is only a small piece of the puzzle, but they have gotten to work with six "really great builders". 

She explains, "We've met multiple times over the past few months with all of our builders, representatives from Community First! Village, and McCoy's Building Supply to share ideas and refine construction details. All of us just did a walk-through onsite last week so that we could share lessons learned thus far from the three Porch homes currently underway. We also discussed ideas about possible material replacements or revisions to details that could improve the construction process, particularly on the remaining Porch homes to be started."

In addition to Don Crowell Builders, whose Shawn Brown was interviewed on the FOX News segment, other home builders that will be building the "Porch With A Home" design are Hoar Construction, Pilgrim Building in collaboration with Enabler, and Risinger Homes. Two other builders, Hatch Works and JGB Custom Homes, created dedicated web pages detailing their involvement with Community First! Village. The Page team is very involved in the construction process, answering questions, refining details, and lending a hand as seen in the above gallery of images from See In See Out Photography.

The project is the brainchild of Mobile Loaves and Fishes, a truck-based ministry that serves the homeless and working poor in four states. Five residential designs were selected based on the Tiny Victories competition organized by AIA Austin DesignVoice, and local home builders are volunteering their expertise to construct them. Volunteers from the architecture firms, construction companies and related service providers have worked multiple consecutive weekends in the Texas summer heat to make this a reality. For more information, click here