Students Transform Hospice House at Community First! Village

Throughout the 2023-2024 semester, Waterloo seniors worked alongside the groundkeepers and residents of Community First! Village to design the landscaping for a hew “Hospice House” — a project that will be cherished and enjoyed by the community for many years to come.

Community First! is a master-planned neighborhood that provides affordable housing and a supportive community for those coming out of chronic homelessness.

It was truly a village effort to complete this task and our seniors had a lovely taste of what it’s like to design and organize something that creates something of value and contributes to something bigger than they can imagine.

At the start of the year, all the seniors got together and started ideating for a community project where they could improve something around Austin. Eventually, they got connected with Community First! and started planning and meeting with them to create ideas for the landscaping project.

“I think right now is my favorite part actually, getting to do the work. It almost didn’t feel like a real project — we were just drawing stuff — but now we can work with our hands, and that’s what I’m all about. So I’m really happy. “

Jackson, Waterloo Senior

“I think my favorite part has been interacting with actual people who will be here. At first, when we were just planning, it was cool and fun, but once we got to visit and talk with people and talk about our ideas and see their input and what they’d be using it for, it was just really cool to see exactly what we were doing and how it’s impacting people.”

Jenna, Waterloo Senior

“It’s it’s actually something that, I was hoping for, you know, so when our neighbors are in that last stage life, that I can roll them out and they can be had a beautiful garden. And just a peaceful place. And all of these designs are just beautiful. I just thank y’all some much. You know, you never know when God’s coming in and bringing people into this community that really can help. I don’t know if you realize how important and how special this is, but it’s very special. I’m so very proud of you.”

Lolita, Community First! Hospice House Resident and Manager
Waterloo School

Waterloo School