For those overcoming life-controlling relationship addictions and other destructive cycles, help may be hard to come by. The new Central KS Dream Center in Great Bend opened in August to fill that gap.
The six month residential discipleship program has no cost for enrollment. Four people are currently enrolled, and another person is coming.
“Participants are taught to confront and overcome their issues by learning to create positive coping techniques and to mend broken or strained relationships with the goal of reuniting with their families,” said Kimberly Becker, director of CKDC. Lisa Parr is the program manager of the discipleship program and her husband Randy Parr assists with the job skills piece of the program.
Acknowledging that substance abuse, depression and the emotional residue left by mental, physical and sexual abuse leaves it victims in the cycle of homelessness, poverty, or destructive relationships, the center allows time for clients to heal. They, “learn who they are in Christ, heal from the past and addictions, destructive cycles, and learn work skills, to give back to the community, to restore families,” Becker said.
Those involved learn how to build their own identity. “It’s not a treatment program,” said Becker. “We take people who are going through rough times.”
“The Dream Center is the church that never sleeps,” said Becker. “The immediate needs of the clients are met so that they can be safe and comfortable and work on the root causes of what keeps them in cycles.”
Residents volunteer at the soup kitchen, undergo counseling and participate in support groups. While they don’t keep a full-time job, they volunteer and work other jobs in the community. The Center also had a certified therapist from Andover who volunteers to offer therapy part-time for free.
The program will eventually be housed in the old Roosevelt School. The second and third stories of the building have been cleaned out to allow for dorm style rooms for the men’s program and the women’s program.
Cross Point Church, which had also used the old school building, is moving out to allow for more programs. Those enrolled in the residential program are currently living in a duplex in town while the building is undergoing code upgrades such as the installation of a sprinkler system.
Becker and her husband had been missionaries to Mexico, but returned to Great Bend in 2010. “I grew up in this community,” said Becker. “It broke my heart to see the condition of the community. I wanted to be a part of change.”
Becker took over as director of the Life Giving Center in February, 2013. The Life Giving Center is for women and children in a state of homelessness.
Besides the soup kitchen, there is a Giving Program for those in need of household items. Becker said plans are being made for a program for those aging out of foster care. Also recently begun were Lifeline Connection classes, open to the community, that offer help for such issues as anger management and relationship addictions.
In addition, plans are being made for a program for pregnant teenagers who have no family support, and for an after school program for at risk kids.
The programs are in need of donations, ranging from cleaning supplies to personal hygiene items to monetary donations. At this time, the programs are 90 percent funded through Lasting Life Ministries Foundation.