“I don’t know where I’d be without this place,” said Dioselina Alcazar, a resident of the Dream Center on Saturday during a soggy but joyful ceremonial grand opening.
That statement alone demonstrates the need for the new Santa Rosa center run by the nonprofit Social Advocates for Youth. The Dream Center, based out of a refurbished Warrack Hospital, is one solution to the growing number of homeless teens and young adults, especially among former foster children, in the community. It will provide temporary and permanent housing for up to 63 people while also being a center for job training. Roughly 250 people, from ages 14 to 24, have already been trained at the site.
At the moment, the Dream Center has just eight residents, but it expects to slowly expand to a dozen by April and as many as 40 by the end of the year. It has not been easy getting to this point. The project had to overcome a number of obstacles, not the least of which was opposition from neighbors who pressed to have the center located to a different site. But we’re hard-pressed to think of a better location. Thumbs up on this immovable dream.