Longview Dream Center

Our purpose is to provide basic needs, resources, and life enhancing programs to the people of Longview and the greater East Texas region. LDC is focused on providing hunger relief, free clothing, and community service projects for individuals in need. The primary objective of the Longview Dream Center is to provide hunger relief, basic humanitarian services to those in need, while expanding existing outreach and partnering relationships.

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Website: http://www.longviewdreamcenter.com/
Address: 803 Gilmer Rd
Longview, TX 75604
Phone: 903-653-1740
Email: sbarlow@longviewdreamcenter.com
Organizational History
The Longview Dream Center is an agency of the East Texas Food Bank. The Dream Center's Lifesource Food Pantry began in the trunk of a car at Lifebridge Christian Center in 2005 and had grown to assist over 300 families every month. Due to continued growth and community demands, on April 1, 2014 Lifebridge turned everything over to the Longview Dream Center. Founder, Thomas McDaniels, purchased the building located at 803 Gilmer Road, Longview, Texas.
With its first distribution, the Lifesource Food Pantry more than doubled the number of clients being served. Changes were necessary to accommodate the number of families that could be assisted at each distribution. In October 2015, the Lifesource Food Pantry shifted to a "client choice" food pantry, which is designed to be comfortable for the client. Rather than be handed a box of food, the client may select their own food items. They can choose from a variety of meat, bread, dairy, canned foods and fresh produce based on individual needs. Also, each client is assigned a volunteer to assist in choosing food items, helping to maintain the client's dignity, while building a relationship that few hunger relief programs provide. Due to growing demand, pantry days were increased from bi-monthly to twice per week. The Lifesource Food Pantry serves over 1,000 families every month and sometimes more!
The Dream Center host the East Texas Food Bank's Senior Box Program for over 350 senior citizens each month. Those eligible, based on their age and household income, receive a 40-pound box of food with a variety of staple food products such as dry-beans, dry-milk, canned fruits and vegetables, cereal, and a large serving of cheese. This program offers elderly clients a nutritious variety of non-perishable food items and is designed to give the client an assortment of healthy choices.
The East Texas Food Bank provides over 20,000 lbs. of garden-fresh fruits and vegetables twice per month to the Dream Center. The Fresh Produce Distribution Program operates every Saturday and includes items like sweet potatoes, squash, watermelon, cabbage, onions, and much more. This program is available to everyone and has no qualifications to receive produce. This resource for the community helps to promote healthy food choices.
The primary objective of the Longview Dream Center is to provide hunger relief, basic humanitarian services to those in need, while expanding existing outreach and partnering relationships. Therefore, the Dream Center began the Lifesource Clothing Program to address the need for free clothing to those suffering from poverty or dealing with a crisis. This year over 200 school uniforms were provided to parents, who could not afford the required clothing for their children. Prom dress are given to local high school students who may not have the means to purchase a prom dress or suite for their prom night. Scrubs are provided to many women who secure employment in the medical field or one that requires specific attire but there is no money to buy them. The impact this clothing program has had on the community is astonishing! Over 12,000 items of FREE clothing are given away every month to hundreds of clients.
The Dream Center also offers free Lifeskills Classes to help clients break free from a poverty mindset to one of self-sufficiency. Along with hunger relief and free clothing, these classes are designed to help equip the student for the job market, while providing them with a greater sense of self-worth and security. This is achieved by teaching the student the most updated version of Microsoft Office. On the first night of class, the teacher begins with each student gathering their personal information to effectively create their own resumé in Microsoft Word. From there, the student must identify their skill-set, create job searches online and they are taught how to effectively begin an active job search with the Texas Workforce Commission and other online resources. All classes are offered at no expense to anyone who has a desire to increase their computer knowledge or become gainfully employed.
The Acts Project is a community outreach effort that builds and repairs handicap ramps along with many other meaningful projects. The primary purpose is to perform simple acts of service to those in need or crisis. Program efforts are focused on single moms, disabled, widowed, and the elderly. This team of skilled and unskilled volunteers serve the community every third Saturday of the month. This team serves those in need by painting, mowing or completing simple household repairs. The Dream Center feels obligated to physically provide a helping hand to this group of people in need.
Target Population
Gregg County is an expanding community with a population of 123,204 with varying household incomes. Based on the 2010 census data, the median household income is $46,391. 29% of these families have children under the age of 5 and are living below the poverty level with an unemployment rate at 5.2%
2017 YTD Food Assistance
• 2,567 households, with 7,812 family members were served 3-5 days of meals.
• 31% of those were children under 17 years old.
• 71% of the clients that requested food this year were women.
• 76% of the clients served through the Senior Box Program are grandmothers, on social security or other fixed incomes, who are raising young children.
• In 2016, Lifesource provided food to 2,206 households, with 6,458 family members.
The Dream Center is passionate about serving the community and making a difference; however, the need is great and continues to grow! According to the Longview News-Journal 1 in 5 Gregg County households struggle with food insecurity. Reports show they are the highest in the Nation, with the percentage of households experiencing food insecurity in East Texas ranging from 18.7 to 21.1%. A significant driver is the high level of poverty and the government's inability to handle the demand. The LDC is the lifeblood for survival for many families.