Finding help isn’t always as easy as it seems, even when you’re surrounded by a great community. “Springfield is one of the most caring cities around,” says Andy Thornton, program director at the Springfield Dream Center. But those who most need assistance sometimes confront barriers when trying to obtain it. As Thornton says, “Knowing what is available, filling out paperwork and finding a ride can be obstacles.”
This is where the Springfield Dream Center steps in. Founded in 2017 by North Point Church, the center focuses on the needs of Springfield’s Zone 1, the city’s northwest quadrant. While it often assists with immediate needs, the center is increasingly thinking long term. “We want to disrupt the generational poverty cycle and help families achieve their dreams,” Thornton says.
To do this, the Dream Center helps families develop life skills and coping strategies. It also partners with other organizations, including the Drew Lewis Foundation and the Community Partnership of the Ozarks. By working with other organizations, the Dream Center can help create bridges between established resources people in need can benefit from.
“There are so many great things happening in Springfield, sometimes we don’t need new programs, just new ways for people to access them,” Thornton says.