Sadly, many of our homeless brothers and sisters share the same view of the world. This is especially true during the holiday season. Our homeless friends are alone, hungry, and vulnerable. This was true for my friend Ellis. He was literally starving on the streets of Austin, when a homeless friend told him about the meals served from the Mobile Loaves & Fishes trucks.
Our mission is to provide food, clothing, and dignity to our brothers and sisters in need. We accomplish this mission through the use of 12 catering trucks that go out onto the city streets of Austin, San Antonio, New Orleans, Providence, and Nashville every night of the week, thanks to the hard work of our almost 10,000 volunteers and a single supply truck.
More than 3.5 million people in America are homeless, yet too often, they go unseen. Austin-based homeless mission Mobile Loaves and Fishes wanted to change that, to give homeless people a voice with which to say "I am here" and empower others to help.
That's why on April 27-28, 2010, MLF founder Alan Graham, along with Danny Silver, a then-homeless man, went up on a billboard on I-35. The goal was inspire people to text enough $10 donations to get Danny and his wheelchair-bound wife Maggie off the streets and into a gently used RV (just $12,000).
Not only did we raise enough money to get Danny and Maggie a home, we raised awareness of homelessness to a dramatic new height.
Community First! is an ongoing effort by Mobile Loaves & Fishes to effectively confront homelessness in Austin. HOW gets people off the street by providing them with recreational vehicle housing and the support they need to improve their circumstance. This solution not only provides participants with housing, but also with a supportive community that is dedicated to helping them effect positive change in their lives.