(Photo by Randy M. Cauthron)
On Sunday, the congregation at DaySpring Assembly of God Church approved the donation of the Spencer Dream Center building to the Dream Center Corporation. The paperwork will be filed today, marking a transition from the church's ownership to the corporation's ownership for one dollar. The donation amounts to a $400,000 gift from the local church.
The transfer of operating control is just one of many changes at the center, which recently received its 501(c)3 status from the federal government and began housing the Grand Avenue Free Medical Clinic.
"When I envisioned the Dream Center in Spencer, I thought it was going to be a two-year effort to get to this point. I didn't think the first day I talked to the building's owner about the Dream Center, he would give the building to us. Everything went faster than I anticipated," Rev. Kevin Grimes, chairman of the Dream Center Board of Directors, said.
The recently attained 501(c)3 status will allow the center to seek grants and funding from charitable organizations the Dream Center was previously prevented from applying for.
"The federal government now officially recognizes the Spencer Dream Center as a viable non-profit organization. ... We have applied for many grants and been turned down. Until now, everything had to go through DaySpring. It's not associated with the church anymore," Grimes said.
Major projects on the horizon include the repair of the elevator system to assist those unable to take the stairs to various services on the upstairs floors, including the medical center, and clothing and food outreach.
Additionally, the Dream Center is continuing to clean out demolition on the fifth floor -- now a large single space - where an indoor skatepark and Lord's Gym are among the plans.
Work will begin next week on the drive-up window for the Terrazzo Coffeehouse.
Beginning Saturday, Terrazzo Coffeehouse, in the Dream Center, will begin hosting public open mic nights for singers, musicians and poets who wish to perform family-friendly material. Saturday night, performers can take the stage from 8-10 p.m. Registration begins at 7:30 p.m. All Starbucks brand drinks, smoothies and a full dinner menu will be available.
The Grand Avenue Free Medical Clinic is open in the Dream Center on the first and third Thursday of each month. Services provided by licensed medical professionals, organized locally by Dr. Darrel Forslund, under the Free Medical Clinics of Iowa. The clinic is open from 3-9 p.m. Patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Sixteen patients a day can be seen at the present time. Hopes are high by early 2012, the clinic will be open every Thursday.
More than 30 children, on average, are served at The Underground on a daily basis. A total of 4,992 staff volunteer hours have been donated since the center began hosting children Jan. 6.
More than 400 different families have benefited from 18,000-plus pieces of clothing since the Our Hands Extended opened its doors; and eight tons of food has been given away since March to more than 100 different families. The food outreach is associated with the Food Bank of Iowa. A total of 5,400 volunteer hours have served both outreach efforts.