In 1996 Loretta Hibbs visited the Los Angeles Dream Center for the first time. She was deeply moved by what she saw. Although she didn’t realize it then, the vision that would one day become City Dream Centre was already beginning to form. It would start as an outreach from Relate Church, called Relate Community Care, and would grow in leaps and bounds until finally taking shape as an official Dream Centre in 2016.
In 2009 Loretta was given a challenge by her Pastor at Relate Church. He asked her this question: If our church were to disappear tomorrow, would anyone in the community notice? Loretta immediately began working to ensure that the answer to that question was yes and so began the journey. Relate Community Care was underway.
Very quickly, areas of need were identified and teams began to form. An offer to help in local prisons rapidly grew in to a devoted team that regularly serves and educates inmates and their families. The help they bring promotes healing, recovery, reconnection and successful transition back to society. Courses that the group provides are now court recognized, helping former inmates to regain contact with their children.
Another project that would become a foundational piece of Community Care, started when Loretta approached the Surrey School Board with a very general offer to help, not really knowing what that would look like. She asked for the name of the school with the most needs in Surrey so that Relate Community Care could meet those needs on an ongoing basis. There were four schools that were struggling so equally that the School Board could not choose just one, so Loretta took all four. The Adopt-a-School program was born and the need was so much greater than she could have imagined.
Over the next seven years Adopt-a-School grew to include more than 900 family food hampers and 3000 wrapped Christmas gifts, personally delivered each year. New and used clothing events, and weekend emergency feeding followed. As a trusting relationship with teachers, administrators and the school board grew, Community Care was given the privilege of offering noon hour girls and boys club programs. At risk youth gather weekly and are taught about respect, self-esteem, etiquette, bullying, value and purpose; skills that are life changing and that will help protect them from gangs and traffickers. It has turned kids who bullied in to kids who now mentor younger kids in their schools.
In 2014 a mentoring program was established to train and assist other organizations to adopt a school in their area, with a goal to eventually have all inner city schools adopted. Right now there are 11 adopted in the Surrey area with an addition 3 in the Fraser Valley.
Another well established project is the annual Back to School event where we host over 1500 People from our adopted schools and surrounding neighbourhoods. Families dealing with the issues of poverty, many of them refugees and new immigrants, receive a hot lunch, kid’s activities, produce hampers, free kid’s haircuts and 1000 backpacks filled with supplies.
Our Life skills programs such as Boundaries and The Power to Parent are taught several times each year, including sessions taught in local prisons. The courses are court recognized, helping parents to reconnect with their children.
In 2017 City Dream Centre added their boutique thrift store, For the Love of Thrifting, and established City Care Dental, a mobile dental unit that brings dental care to the kids in our adopted schools and other areas of need.
By the spring of 2014 the original vision of opening a Dream Centre seemed both inevitable and daunting. That is, until a friend from the Los Angeles Dream Center pointed out that we were already doing it. All that the team had been planting and growing over these years was already the work of a Dream Centre. We just had to start building the bridge to make it official, and so we did.
Welcome to City Dream Centre. A place where hope, dignity and value exist for everyone.