Austin homeless village to include “drive-in” theater


This is another installment in our occasional series, Things That are Not Drive-Ins. There are so many faux “drive-ins” that pop up every year that it requires something special to make it to a Carload post. The Community First village proposed for Austin TX is that kind of special project.

Mobile Loaves & Fishes has spent over a decade serving Austin’s chronically homeless, finding inexpensive housing and work to get some of them off the streets. Now MLF has announced an ambitious project to build an entire gated community of otherwise homeless residents, as described by KVUE, Austin’s news leader.

KVUE said that Community First would include a drive-in theater. That caused the same double-take I get when I hear requests to donate furniture for the homeless: If some poor soul doesn’t have a roof over his head, where’s he going to put that furniture, and if he’s got a car, why would he drive to a movie? As it turns out, this time KVUE was not completely accurate, probably for the first time in its history. The Community First blueprints clearly show an “outdoor theater,” albeit with spaces for about a dozen cars in a nearby parking lot.

Although the idea of a gated community with a private drive-in is appealing, I have to say that this will not be a true drive-in theater. I do wish its organizers all the best for using private funds to give the homeless a path back to productive society.

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