Dream Center in Echo Park hands out 5 millionth meal

One year ago, the Dream center in Echo Park stepped up to help families during COVID.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Echo Park nonprofit hands out 5 millionth meal
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One year ago, the Dream Center in Echo Park stepped up to help families during COVID.

ECHO PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Dream Center in Echo Park is a nonprofit dedicated to helping people experiencing homelessness and those struggling with hunger and education.

"I'll never forget March 16th and realizing we had resource, we had the ability to make a difference," said Dream Center Co-founder Matt Barnett.

The center celebrated the one-year anniversary of their mobile food bank and additional housing.

"We're opening 13 brand new rooms for homeless families," said Executive Director of Programs at the Dream Center Kelli Bradley.

The Dream Center is now able to house 42 families. Justina Lewis and her children are among them.

"This year has been pretty hard for me with them stopping unemployment," said Lewis.

Lewis is a single mother who lost her job due to the pandemic. She was previously living in her car.

But the Dream Center has given her free housing and much needed resources for her kids.

"The community works together, I'm able to enroll them into school," she said.

The Dream Center also offers free tutoring five days a week, with an average of 60 students in attendance per day.

"There's a lot of people who don't get to experience this and I pray, thank God, that I'm one of them because I was homeless once so this is really amazing knowing we have our own rooms, our own beds," said Dream Center resident Thania Lopez.

People in need can visit the drive-thru food bank located at 2301 Bellevue Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026 every day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.