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Travis County approves contract to build more housing units at Community First! Village

Approximately $35 million will go to Mobile Loaves and Fishes to allow the organization to build an additional 640 units at its Community First! Village.

AUSTIN, Texas — As the need for more housing for people experiencing homelessness continues, Travis County is using federal funding to try to address the issue. 

With help from the American Rescue Plan, county commissioners have approved $35 million to add hundreds of units to Mobile Loves and Fishes' Community First! Village

Funding will also go towards the nonprofit organizations Life Works and Caritas of Austin, which also aim to help people experiencing homelessness.

"Today’s funding will build for roughly 640 units at Community First Burleson village," Travis County Judge Andy Brown said at Tuesday's meeting.

The village currently houses more than 400 people experiencing homelessness in units that range from 200 to 400 square feet. Mobile Loaves and Fishes plans to build an additional 700 units as part of its Phase 3 expansion plan, which will bring the total housing at the village to over 1,500 units when it is completed.

"The need is going to continue to grow. The current need is about 3,000 to 4,000 for chronic homelessness. We are going to be able to put a big dent in mitigating this pandemic of homeliness," said Alan Graham, president and CEO of Mobile Loaves and Fishes.

The additional 640 units will take about two years to build, with people expected to move in by mid-2025.

In addition to housing, Mobile Loaves and Fishes also provides mental and physical services.

"Being able to heal and begin to heal from the level of trauma that they come from is an extraordinarily complex and difficult situation," Graham said.

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