By Ida Somero, Executive Director, The Dream Center Foundation
The Dream Center’s rallying cry is “Find a need and fill it, find a hurt and heal it.” Also known as the Church that Never Sleeps,
we provide services to over 50,000 low income individuals and families each month in the areas of homelessness, hunger relief, medical care and education. Our main facility, built in 1926, is a 14-story former hospital in downtown Los Angeles.
To serve the growing needs in our community, The Dream Center needed a modern home. But upgrading a nearly 90 year-old building is expensive and seemed nearly impossible. With the assistance of a $49.7 million investment from the New Markets Tax Credit program, we are rehabilitating five floors of the building. Those floors will serve as housing for more than 350 individuals, including adults and families in rehabilitation from life-controlling issues including abuse, addictions, depression, and anger.
One of those families is Monica and her children, who drove across the country fleeing domestic violence. After finding temporary shelter with her brother, they found a safe home through The Dream Center’s Family Housing program. Since coming to The Dream Center, Monica and her family have been able to receive counseling, and she is near to completing her college education. But most importantly, her children have found a home free from abuse, where they are free to pursue their dreams and rebuild their lives.
We truly could not have housed families like Monica’s without the New Markets program’s grants and affordable interest rates. We are deeply thankful that the New Markets Tax Credit program, and investors such as Opportunity Fund for making the dream of safe housing possible for many more families here in Los Angeles.