CONCORD — The Cabarrus Dream Center officially opened its doors last week and is jumping in feet first. It soon will house a major organization that helps fight human trafficking.
The center was made a part of the official Dream Center network in 2019 and has housed several community services like the Cabarrus Health Alliance dental services, Gate Pregnancy Center, Corner Field Market and, more recently, part of Cooperative Christian Ministries (CCM).
Last weekend, the Cabarrus Dream Center held its official ribbon-cutting with the help of Concord Mayor Bill Dusch, Concord Council member Jennifer Parsley, Executive Director of the Cabarrus Chamber Barbi Jones, and leaders at Multiply Church.
During 2020 and the beginning of 2021, the center has been working on completing the first two phases of expansion. The first phase allowed CCM to move some of its client services into a new office space. The second phase helped prepare a space above the CCM offices for Present Age. The next two phases will help finish that upstairs office.
Hannah Arrowood with Present Age Ministries said moving to the Dream Center will help them collaborate with other services in the community to spread their reach.
“Collaboration is key to the work that we do, so being in a space that promotes and provides ease of access to partners is a game changer,” Arrowood said. “Relationships promote a healthy community. I anticipate an increase in victim identification as well as increased support to clients due to the nature of the space at the Dream Center.”
The ministry’s headquarters will be relocated to the Dream Center, but there are currently three locations: Concord and Matthews in North Carolina and Nairobi, Kenya. This new office will house the leadership team, and most of the ministry’s programs will be run from the location.
“We intend to use this space to host multi-disciplinary teams for case reviews, prevention and intervention services as well as virtual training at a national and international level,” Arrowood said.
Gwen Stowers with the Dream Center said getting the space fully functional for Present Age is the top priority. Now that the center’s corridor is remodeled, the center is also working on more security measures.
“Present Age is just a shell right now,” Stowers said, describing the state of the office space. “The foundation is there and needs to be outfitted.”
The center is also looking forward to welcoming behavioral wellness groups. To that end, it is updating a neighboring suite to house behavioral wellness and adult and teen addiction recovery resources.
Stowers said the center also expects to have a psychiatrist, neurologist and nutritionist available in the suite at some point.
While the behavioral wellness suite is definitely in the future-plans category, the Dream Center has vetted West Counseling in Cabarrus County to move into the space eventually.
And now that the pandemic is starting to ease, the center hopes to be able to ramp up expansion in addition to returning to some normalcy with its current tenants.
But while the Dream Center is officially open, the pandemic did cause some changes in services for tenants.
Corner Field Market, which had switched to a drive-thru system during the pandemic, will return to in-person shopping in May.
As the center adjusts and prepares for the future, Stowers said, it is all a work in process that they are excited to see unfold.
“Right now, we are just trying to take just one step at a time,” Stowers said about the center’s future plans.
Those who wish to donate to the center can do so at www.cabarrusdreamcenter.com/donate.