I’m excited to introduce you to Alan Graham, a husband, father, author, podcaster and friend to many, Alan is an advocate for those who can not speak for themselves and has spent much of his life helping bring awareness to individuals battling chronic homelessness by developing tangible solutions to meet their needs. Founder and CEO of Mobile Loaves & Fishes (MLF), “A social outreach ministry that provides food and clothing, cultivates community and promotes dignity to homeless men and women in need” Alan is someone who actively develops life-changing relationships with everyone he encounters. Today, Alan and his wife call the MLF’s Community First Village home, where they live and do life alongside their friends, men and women coming out of chronic homelessness, in a 51-acre master planned development in the northeast side of Austin. It is a flourishing community where people are thriving in their hearts, lives, homes and jobs – all a direct result of Alan’s willingness to step into a complex situation and figure out a way to love others through service. 

Alan walks us through his personal story and shares how a weekend men’s retreat radically shifted his intellectual relationship with God to a heartfelt understanding of His unfailing LOVE. He shares how that transformation has impacted every aspect of his life, including his career! It is a beautiful illustration of what it looks like when we engage our OWN faith journey, without holding onto the expectations and interpretations of those around us. 

Alan talks about the impact growing up with a mom who battled mental illness had on his life and the many ways her struggles empowered him to see people and understand their pain. His awareness of the struggles that inhibit connection for many people and his personal encounter with God’s unfailing love has become the mission of Alan’s life – to build meaningful and loving relationships with people in the most unlikely situations. 

Over the years of engaging in the lives of people who have found themselves homeless, Alan has come to understand that a ‘home’ isn’t. He says that four walls may define a ‘house’ but there are eight distinctive characteristics that are critical elements in defining what makes a ‘HOME.’ He expands on this in his book “Welcome Homeless– – one man’s journey of discovering the meaning of home” – a must read for anyone who desires a sense of home in their life! 

Having personally had the opportunity to work with Mobile Loaves and Fishes, to visit and volunteer at Community First Village and to talk with people whose lives have been so radically impacted by the vision God gave Alan, I am reminded of how powerful one person’s faith and obedience can be. Alan’s voice has played a transformational role in shifting my perspectives and helping me better see all people through a lens of love and grace.

Walking into my eighth week “stuck at home”  it is humbling to acknowledge the privilege it is to have a safe place to lay my head at night and to have fresh food to eat everyday. It is something I am working hard to not take for granted, but too often do. Stepping away from this conversation with Alan, I have been challenged to reconsider what ‘home’ actually means and to actively pursue ways to incorporate and engage the elements he defines in our conversation. Not only within the four walls of my house, but also beyond them into my community – through meaningful relationships and shared connection. I hope you will feel empowered to do the same after listening to Alan’s story today. 


Photo Credit: Mobile Loaves & Fishes

Speak Life with Taylor Nichols is a podcast committed to keeping it REAL and RAW — real people, real stories, and real life. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss a conversation! {You can listen to the show right HERE and to make sure you never miss an episode just hop on to your favorite podcast app (ie. iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify) and subscribe today! I hope you will consider sharing the show with your friends and if you have a friend with a story you think we need to hear, please nominate them right HERE!}