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‘I’ve regained my dignity in life’: Community First! Village brings homes to homeless

Community First! Village plans on adding more than 300 homes to their community.

AUSTIN, Texas — Community First! Village is a 51-acre master-planned community in East Austin that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for men and women coming out of chronic homelessness.

It is also home to Adam Yoo's "humble" glassblowing studio.

Yoo, best known as Earth Drum, says he was homeless for about two years. 

"I found myself without support and without a family and without opportunities. You need support, you need opportunity, you need connection, and you can get that all here," Earth Drum, who has lived at Community First! for about three years, said. "It’s like I’ve regained my dignity in life ... I’ve been touched by this place deeply."

Earth Drum is just one of the hundreds of people getting support from this community. 

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"There’s about 235 to 240 people that live onsite right now," said Alan Graham, CEO and founder of Mobile Loaves & Fishes

Graham told KVUE that Community First! is planning to expand in order to serve more people trying to get out of homelessness.

The CEO said that the first phase of this initiative was 27 acres and phase two is planned to add another 24 acres. 

With this expansion, Graham said they will be able to add more than 300 homes. 

"You spend most of your time with this being torn up, torn down, and it takes a long while to come back up out of the ground so you can see what the potential is," said Graham of phase two's construction.

Graham said he expects people to be able to move into phase two in February. 

WATCH: Number of homeless in Austin grows

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