AUSTIN, Texas — On this Giving Tuesday, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation has committed to donating $38 million in critical funds to provide housing for those experiencing homelessness in Austin. Mobile Loaves and Fishes (MLF) is one of the three organizations getting a cut to help house people.
"To us, it's mindboggling yet in a lot of ways it makes sense," Founder and CEO, Alan Graham said. "This is really the public launch of a $150 million campaign and you combine that with the match from the county of $35 million-plus other funding that we have, the Dell's have put us over the halfway mark in a day."
Mobile Loaves and Fishes' capital campaign will get $36.6 million to go toward the development of 1,400 more homes at the Community First! Village. Phases three and four are expected to start in 2022. This donation adds to the money already earmarked after the Travis County Commissioners Court voted unanimously in Sept. to allocate $110 million in federal funds to build more affordable housing.
"If we want to mitigate homelessness in Austin it will take all of us," President, Amber Fogarty said.
MLF believes it takes a village to build a village. The community can help match the funds by donating to the campaign online.
"They have suffered so much and what they need from our community is our love, our care, our support, and this gift from Michael and Susan Dell Foundation represents what we need to do as a community," Fogarty said.
$1 million will also go to Foundation Communities to build 100 apartment units and $400,000 will go to LifeWorks to provide permanent housing for youth experiencing homelessness.
"The average time on the streets is 10 years so we're really talking about the most vulnerable, the most despised, outcast, lost and forgotten of our community," Graham said.
The Community First! Village will host a Holiday Market this Friday and Saturday from 4-9 p.m. at 9301 Hog Eye Rd in Austin. The sales from this event are how the neighbors in the community earn income. MLF said more than $1 million in dignified income will go to neighbors who are taking part in the Community Works Program this year.