We recently returned home after a week of ministry with our interns in Los Angeles. We served at the Dream Center for four days in the warm California sun. It’s a tough job, but someones got to do it. Here’s a quick snapshot of what the Dream Center is all about:
Their vision is to be a part of the collaborative effort to impact issues of moral decay, substance abuse, hunger, health care, chronic homelessness and poverty that exists in the inner-city of Los Angeles.
Our vision was birthed out of the fact that in 1994, Pastors Matthew and Tommy Barnett came to Los Angeles with the intention of building a church. They found that they first had to address the physical needs of this impoverished community. They began to reach out to the community by providing food and clothing. Within one year, they were reaching an estimated 500 people.
Needing a larger facility for the church and its growing outreaches, they found the current campus- the former Queen of Angels Hospital. It had been closed and sitting vacant for over six years. The Dream Center’s mission to serve the community aligned with the Franciscan Sisters’ vision for the former hospital, so it was agreed to sell the property to the Barnetts in 1996.
Reaching over 40,000 people every month, we offer opportunities and resources for at-risk youth, low-income individuals, and families to reach self-sufficiency by providing basic necessities and emergency assistance.
In addition to food, clothing, job training and healthcare, we provide educational programs, parenting classes and after-school activities. We also provide residential recovery programs for men, women and teens. These programs are available free of charge to anyone in need.
Isn’t that what the gospel is all about anyway? The church exists to offer hope to the world. The Dream Center believes that the message is better received when tangible needs have been met first. What communicates love, care, and hope more clearly than a hot meal when hungry?
I was so impressed with the way our interns stepped up and served. In the next couple posts I’ll share some stories from our trip. It was a great experience for our students as well as for me, the leader. Being able to meet a person’s most basic needs is truly humbling. For more information on the LA Dream Center check out their website: