Metro Vancouver Dream Centre Society (MVDCS) was established in 2008 to take over a ministry that was being offered by Lighthouse of Hope Christian Fellowship (LHOHCF), formerly Rainbow Community Church of Vancouver (RCCV), since 2006. There is a need in the community to provide a service to the needy, the homeless, the addicted and the sick and disabled that builds upon the concepts that everyone is welcome – and we mean it! This is a precept of LHOHCF.
MVDCS was founded on the principal of "ending homelessness one person at a time". The society found that there was a need to reach out to the entire community, especially those in the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgendered) community.
From 2006 LHOHCD/RCCV was serving a hot buffet meal and providing bundles of food to the needy of the West End of Vancouver. This was done on Sunday evenings after their regular service. This quickly grew to the point that they were serving 150 to 200 people every Sunday evening.
Local area food businesses donate leftover food. This includes fresh vegetables and fruit, dry & packaged goods and baked goods. With this food it became possible to create healthy and nutritious meals; and provide bundles of food that the people need.
MVDCS was built upon the inspiration of what we saw in Calgary and Los Angeles where local church groups had created Dream Centres. The core group of volunteers saw a need to create a Dream Centre in Vancouver. In November 2008 MVDCS took over the meal service at LHOHCD/RCCV and operated that meal until March 2009.
In March 2009 LHOHCD/RCCV moved and the Sunday evening meal was closed. Fortunately at the same time MVDCS found that St. Michael's Anglican Church (SMAC) was looking for an injection to their once-a-month Friday dinner. MVDCS was able to step in and expand their meal to three Friday's per month, as well as supplement the Food Bank that was being offered by SMAC.
As word spread about the meal being done at SMAC other churches and organizations have been in touch with MVDCS to see if we could repeat what we are doing at SMAC. We have delayed this because we realized that we were not setup to handle more food preparation due to the lack of food preparation space and storage.
MVDCS is preparing to expand the services and the first step is to locate a Food Preparation Facility (FPF) that would allow for the preparation of meals, storage of donated food, and also provide other meal service locations. In 2011 MVDCS hopes to acquire this FPF and then expand the Hot Buffet Meal service and Food Bank service throughout Metro Vancouver.
Fund raising plans will expand as Canada Revenue Agency has approved MVDCS to have charitable status. This will make it easier to raise funds from individuals and organizations and to tap into other helping organizations' grants and subsidies.
MVDCS is run by volunteers from many walks of life and from many organizations.