In 2011, Jim and Chris Wilson found themselves in a place where many Christians end up. They had spent many years filling a church pew and serving only inside the walls of their church. Through studying scripture, they realized that God was calling them outside the walls.
The Wilson’s, along with a few of their friends, decided to start meeting each week to pray about how they could offer a place of hope in the community, where people in need could receive a hand-up instead of a hand out. After meeting every week for a year, The Dream Center was incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit in May 2012. There was no building, but there was a vision.
The group continued to meet over the next year and began helping people in need. Michael Barnes, a member of the founding group, picked up a homeless lady named Kay off the streets of Easley. The group mentored Kay and within nine months she had two jobs, housing and paid cash for a car. Momentum began to grow, as others began seeking help from The Dream Center.
The founding group pooled their money, and with the help of donors purchased the former Simpson Academy Alternative School in October 2013. Since that time, The Dream Center has helped thousands of people in need with a hand up instead of a hand out. The Opportunity Village was developed in 2016, and serves the community as a homeless shelter program. Consisting of 23 tiny houses and 10 transitional houses, this program has successfully helped people become self-sufficient. The program’s success is attracting the attention of many organizations nationwide.
The Dream Center Resale Store opened in Easley in October 2015; the Pickens store opened in March 2017; and the Seneca store opened in June 2019. A Greenville location will open in 2021. All of The Dream Center Resale Stores help provide financial sustainability for the organization.
The Dream Center also serves as a hub for other non-profit organizations helping those in need: SHINE Soup Kitchen, Samaritan Dental Clinic, JC Cares, Celebrate Recovery, Ripple of One and Predestined Teen Outreach.
Jim & Chris Wilson
Bob & Shannon Leatherwood