Last week I ran the first part of a chapter from Church in Surrey & White Rock: The Untold Story: ‘Church and Community Ministry and Cooperation,’ by Lloyd Mackey and Frank Bucholtz.
The main focus of that excerpt was on the “breadth and diversity of church-based social services” already being offered by a group of 14 churches which have been working with Mayor Linda Hepner. Following is the rest of that chapter.
The [City] Dream Centre vision of Loretta Hibbs of Relate Church is part of this vision for the future. Modeled on the Dream Center in Los Angeles, Hibbs envisions it potentially making use of the large, never-used Asian Centre building on 104th Avenue at 142nd Street. It was built some 17 years ago by Taiwanese development interests, but later came into North American ownership.
This centre would have many services under one roof and would involve many churches. The present owner of the Asian Centre, an Arizona-based businessman/lawyer, wants to lease the entire centre to one group.
Many of the services currently offered by churches, and also many others, could use it. Hibbs makes the point that such a project would be beyond the scope of any one church. Its organizational structure would facilitate the inclusion of many interested congregations.
The Relate Church’s website states:
The Dream Centre model is a resource centre – not a homeless shelter. The goal is to educate people. There will be classes in parenting, GED, ESL, recovery, resumés and job prep. There will be medical, dental and legal resources as well as a discipleship and intern program.
The goal of the Dream Centre is to meet the immediate needs and then equip individuals and families to become self-sufficient.
Mobile dental clinics
The Dream Centre project is actually already underway. To increase public awareness of the project, Dream Centre leaders have recently, at the cost of $1.5 million, refurbished two mobile dental clinics.
They will be deployed to sectors of the city where many people, particularly children, require basic dental care which their families cannot afford. Already, some Surrey dentists are ready to volunteer time to staff the clinics.
This excerpt is posted by permission. Church in Surrey & White Rock: The Untold Story will be launched June 16 at Regent Christian Academy.
Following is a brief description of what the Dream Centre in Los Angeles does, from its website (not from the book):
The Dream Center offers residential programs that are designed to assist those in need by not only addressing the immediate needs of the participants, but focusing on developing a foundation to successfully integrate back into the community towards independent living.
The Dream Center’s recovery program is a 1-3 year residential program designed to support men and women who are overcoming life-controlling issues, and recovering from drug and alcohol addictions, depression, and abuse. This program is structured to eliminate distractions so that participants can focus on building a healthy foundation to rebuild their lives. Food, housing, education and counseling, are all provided free-of-charge.
Aside from the programs available on the Dream Center campus, staff, participants, and volunteers regularly go out to serve the local people and provide resources, support and assistance through programs like Adopt-A-Block and the Food Truck program.
Approximately 16% of the Los Angeles County is considered food insecure, which means that many families do not know when they will get their next meal. The Dream Center addresses this need by distributing over half a million pounds of food every month to more than 31 local distribution sites, along with a Food Bank housed at the Dream Center. On average, our food programs feed more than 40,000 people monthly. Over the course of a year, more than 500,000 bags of groceries are distributed.
Go here for the full picture.