L.A. Dream Center awarded $10.3 million

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Inner city L.A. charity awarded $10.3 million to expand work in impoverished community.

The Dream Center in the heart of inner city Los Angeles has been granted $10.3 million of federal funds to continue expanding their campus, a former 14-story hospital. The charity, founded in Echo Park in 1996, now reaches around 50,000 children and adults per month, from a wide range of situations and backgrounds. Those that benefit from the 24/7 facility may be homeless, victim to sex trafficking or prostitution, in foster care, struggling with addiction, living with AIDS or simply in need of food and shelter.

"The beautiful thing is that money raised will now go directly towards the daily care of people."

Part of the charity’s mission statement is to “directly impact the issues that afflict Los Angeles communities by reconnecting isolated people to God and a community of support.” President Bush visited the Dream Center in 2000 and deemed it "a model for faith-based organizations." Over 130 Dream Centers have since been established all over the world, each seeing God’s love powerfully transform and restore broken lives to wholeness.

Over 35 million dollars has been invested in the L.A. Dream Centre since it began, transforming it into a thriving home for 650 residents. That will increase to almost 1000 by spring 2013 thanks to the blessing of a recent $10.3 million grant. This was awarded through the purchase of tax credits by investors in a Federal Government program called New Market Tax Credits, a federal initiative which encourages rehabilitation and revitalization in low-income communities.

"This is a miracle that we did not expect and has left us speechless and full of thanks to our God."

Matthew Barnett, co-founder of the Dream Center and senior pastor of the L.A. Angelus Temple Church said, “The beautiful thing is that money raised will now go directly towards the daily care of people... The funding announced today is for construction that will increase our capacity to help even more people tomorrow.” Construction has begun for finishing a main tower on the campus, and there are plans to add a home for emancipated minors. Five unused floors within the campus will be renovated into desperately needed housing for impoverished families and adults in recovery from substance abuse. Los Angeles’ Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, said, “I know this expansion will be a blessing for those most in need.”

The center requires ongoing support from donors and the community. Matthew Barnett stated in his blog, “Not a week has passed that we haven’t had to rely upon a miracle. In fact, we’ve depended upon them... The remaining money is just two months of our operating budget. So once again, we walk by faith... This is a miracle that we did not expect and has left us speechless and full of thanks to our God. Also, it recommits all of us to be a greater investment and to never grow weary in the fight to rescue the most forgotten in our city. We have not quit the fight in eighteen years and are more fired up than ever. This is a day to give thanks, reflect, and rejoice... The best is yet to come.”