Three Goodness benches made by the formerly homeless now beautify city facilities
The City of Pflugerville is the proud owner of three Goodness benches from Community First! Village, a community that provides affordable, permanent housing for the disabled and chronically homeless in Central Texas.
The benches are made by formerly homeless people to help provide them with a job to perform and skills. On November 16, Evan Wilson who was commissioned by a private donor to help build the benches for city facilities described the project and the eight people it took to make a bench possible. “We made six benches in a batch and it took about two weeks of eight-hour days to make these benches,” Wilson said. “All the hands who built these benches were Community First! Hands. At one time, we had someone holding the torch, someone preparing the rivet, two holding the bench wood together and two with sledgehammers. We even managed to install 192 rivets in one day.”
The Village includes a blacksmith and a wood-working shop. Items are sold to help support the community. The group sells everything from picture frames, timber frame buildings, cutting boards, railings, conference tables to bottle openers and coat racks. A market is located in the village where the goods are sold from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The biggest sales event is the Village of Lights tour on November 30, December 1 and December 7-8.
The neighborhood is a healing place for homeless persons and where they can rediscover hope, renew their purpose and restore their dignity. Two benches are located at the Pflugerville Justice Center and one is in the great hall at the Pflugerville Public Library.
“This project is important for so many reasons,” said Pflugerville Police Chief, Jessica Robledo. “The benches are beautiful pieces of art meant for the community to use, made by the hands of those who’ve been given a second chance.” Chief Robledo worked with a private donor to help get benches commissioned and then put into government facilities to raise awareness for the Village.
More information on Community First! Village can be found online at https://mlf.org/community-first/.