We opened the North Charleston Dream Center in the fall of 2007. North Charleston is a culturally diverse, economically challenged community. At the time we opened the Dream Center, the USA Today had identified North Charleston as the 7th most dangerous city in the United States, and we saw a need to make a difference.
We found a small church in the community who was willing to share their building, and we began reaching out to the neighborhood. Through our Adopt-a-Block program, we opened a food pantry, a clothes closet and began offering English as a second language in response to the needs of the community.
By the fall of 2008, the Dream Center had outgrown the shared facility, and we moved into our own building. Since that time, we have given out thousands of meals and clothed thousands of families. In the spring of 2009, we opened a free medical clinic, the Dream Center Clinic, with a fleet of mobile units for medical, dental and vision.
The North Charleston Dream Center is modeled after the same type of organization in Los Angeles. The L.A. Dream Center has been able to see a 70% decrease in the crime rate in the area they affect in the 19 years they have been open. Our dream is the same in delivering hope to a community that seems to have lost just that. North Charleston has dropped to 63rd in the USA Today rankings and crime has reduced 25% in the are the North Charleston Dream Center is located.