The perplexing issue of homelessness is a subject that is near and dear to me. It pains me to see a fellow human being in such despair. I am utterly confused how this can happen on such a grand scale in the richest country on the planet. How can this be? How can we let this continue? I realize that there will always be a certain level of homeless people, but it is embarrassing and bewildering that we have so many on the streets of our cities and towns across this great country.
It is imperative that we find some solutions that work to heal this festering wound. Homeless shelters and food kitchens serve a purpose, but only in an ephemeral way. We need to employ some fresh ideas to tackle this problem, and I believe that Community First! Village is one that is showing real signs of lasting success.
I was first introduced to Alan Graham, CEO of Mobile Loaves & Fishes back in 2004 when I was shooting Art From the Streets, a documentary about an art program for homeless people. We happened to be traveling in the same “neighborhoods”. I was impressed with their mission of venturing out into the streets distributing food, clothing, and hope. Then I heard about their efforts to provide RV’s to some of our homeless brothers and sisters around Austin. Before I knew it, Community First! Village was a fully developed plan. Alan originally called it an "RV park on steroids", which has turned out to be an understatement. There was no question in my mind that this was an ideal subject for a documentary. After meeting with Alan, I was ecstatic and honored that he gave me the green-light to proceed. They have granted us open access to the Village and given me complete independence to chronicle this story. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to make this documentary and to share with the world this amazing, transformative effort to restore dignity, hope, and self-worth to our most vulnerable neighbors.