The homeless R.V. park is a go in Southeast Travis County. It's a story we first told you about months ago. Commissioners gave unanimous, final approval Tuesday.
Homeowners along Hog Eye Road in Southeast Travis County gave it one last shot to keep a homeless R.V. park out of their neighborhood.
"Make a bold decision. Make it for the people who live in this area... for their children and their children's children. Please do not approve this," said an area land owner.
Speaking before county commissioners Tuesday, Mobile Loaves and Fishes CEO Alan Graham outlined the plans for the Community First! Village.
"We have this unbelievable opportunity to lift 200 people out of the streets to allow them to heal from the ravages of living on the streets and help them rediscover a purpose in their lives," Graham said.
The final plan, seen here in a video, consists of a 27 acre property with fully furnished R.V. homes and cottages that will eventually accommodate 200 disabled, chronically homeless people.
The project has $3.5 million dollars in funding with a goal of $6 million.
In a promotional video, police Chief Art Acevedo voices his support, "This is peace. There is really a synergy out here."
Mobile Loaves and Fishes currently has 40 formerly homeless people living in a half-dozen R.V. parks throughout Austin. They will be the first to move into Community First, including Robert Burden.
"All I have experienced from them is love and help and hope. They've given me the opportunity for employment," said Burden. "Also, it has given me the opportunity to get back in touch with my family. I have my son living with me now who I lost when I was homeless."
Those who live around the project feel the process was deceptive.
Several times they yelled at supporters in the audience.
"You need to stop bullying people. It's time we think about what that means," said an Imperial Valley resident.
They say were notified after the sewer system was already in place. And on the notification letter from the county, the project was not described as a homeless community.
"It was not right to receive this in the mail when something else far different is actually proposed," Woodland Hills resident Tony Federico said.
After hearing both sides, commissioners voted to approve the plans.
Graham, who addressed the media about the project for the first time, said he hopes to mend fences with his new neighbors.
"Our motto is you should love your neighbor as yourself and that's about us loving you at Woodland Hills and Imperial Valley," Graham said. "We invite you into our process. We invite you to become a part of our community because we want to become a part of your community."
Graham says each homeless person taken off the street will save the city between $20 and $45,000. For 200 people, Graham says the savings totals $5 to $10 million.
Construction can now start. The group estimates the R.V. park will be fully operational by 2015.