Alan Graham has spent a lot of time thinking about what home means. As the founder of the Mobile Loaves & Fishes, he’s helping so many in need across his community find a place to live – alongside offering help with food and work.

However he doesn’t believe that four walls and a roof are all there is to a home. Not even close.

“There was a profound book that was published by a couple of theologians that are now friends of mine called Beyond Homelessness: Christian Faith in a Culture of Displacement. A very powerful book and in that book they talk about the phenomenology of home from a biblical perspective. They wrote that home is a place of permanence.”

“Home is a dwelling place. I love that word dwelling. Home is a place of habitation. Home is a place of hospitality. Home is a place of safety and refuge. Home is a place of stories and memories. Home is a place of orientation. And last but not least – home is a place of affiliation and belonging.”

Alan notes that this description is missing the one definition we might most expect.

“And notice that nowhere is home four walls, a roof, a bed, and a refrigerator. It has nothing to do with any of that. In fact, I would give up everything that I love if I could make a deal that I would never lose my children or my wife.”

“In order to really understand homelessness, I think it’s important for us to understand what home is. And I think we are struggling in America today to understand home.”


Alan Graham is the founder of the Community First! Village & Mobile Loaves and Fishes ministries originating in Austin, Texas. He’s written a new book called Welcome Homeless: One Man's Journey of Discovering the Meaning of Home.

On the Road with Alan Graham

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