Imagine losing your spouse, struggling to keep your house, then ending up on the streets-- just when winter hit Texas hard and the power grid died.
That was the reality facing Ulysses Robinson in the not so distant past. "A year or so on the streets," recalled Robinson. "It was really hard."
Robinson says it was also really dangerous on the streets. But he remembers being too busy trying to survive the cold to worry about the threat from others. "During the snowstorm, it was one of the hardest things I've been through in my life."
Robinson credits an officer with the Austin Police Department for recognizing his struggle and guiding him to a caseworker, help, and eventually, a tiny home at Mobile Loaves and Fishes Community First! Village, a master planned community created for folks coming out of chronic homelessness.
"I have a roof over my head," says a relieved Robinson. "They give you work so you can have money in your pocket. They make sure you get your medicines and even helped me get my social security card and widower benefit."
Right now Robinson is one of more than 350 former homeless men and women living in permanent homes in the 51 acre community.
But that's about to change. "Last year we promised Austinites that this expansion was going to happen," said Alan Graham, founder and chief executive of Mobile Loaves and Fishes, "and today we're delivering on that promise."
At a ground-breaking tree planting ceremony, Graham, members of the faith community, and other supporters and advocates of the homeless described how the Village expansion would add 127 acres to the existing property and room for 1400 new homes for folks like Robinson, who was there to see the ceremony for himself.
"It's the right thing to do," he said. "There's a lot of people in need."
And, fortunately, he added, a lot of people who are willing and wanting to help.
"I thank God" he said, "for these people."
Expansion organizers plant a tree to represent the growing roots of Community First! Village in the Austin community. Austonia
Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.
There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.
All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.
🗓 All weekend
Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities
All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park
This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.
6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.
10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park
Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.
Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.
11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway