DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – After decades of dreaming, and years of hard work to renovate an abandoned building, the Dayton Dream Center on East Third Street is finally open to the community.
“Today is a huge day, 32 years of a pastor having a vision for this place, and today we open the doors for the first time,” Dream Center Volunteer Coordinator and Assistant Director Angie Miller said.
The mission of the Dayton Dream Center started on four wheels with the Hope Truck. The food truck serves hot meals in the community every Saturday.
The Dayton Dream Center started as just that, a dream of Living World Church’s Pastor Pat Murray.
“We decided to to help the people in the neighborhood, we had to move into the neighborhood,” Pastor Murray said.
The center aims to give people a fresh start with new clothes, a warm shower, a hot meal and access to the education and programs they need to find a job or recover from addiction.
“Somebody to give them a hand-up instead of just a handout, and so we believe in the people down here and their potential,” Pastor Murray said.
Through the four years of operating the food truck, Miller said the need for a permanent center like this became apparent.
“We’ve had people in the neighborhood that have built the relationship from the food truck doing what it was intended to do,” Miller said. “So people knew they could trust us and they came and have asked for help. And that’s really beautiful to know that people came before we were even open.”
Now that the doors are open, Pastor Murray said they’re here to help.
“Anything that that really eliminates or becomes a barrier to hope, we’re here to eliminate those barriers,” Pastor Murray said.
The center plans to grow over time, with appointments for showers, laundry and clothing starting next week.