Settled at the corner of Broadway and Williams Street in Great Bend, the CENTRAL KANSAS DREAM CENTER (CKDC) takes up most of the city block. The Roosevelt Junior High School building, now the Central Kansas Dream Center, still serves its original purpose of growing and teaching individuals. As you approach the massive brick building, you’ll find a great deal of hustle and bustle-- and it’s no wonder why the building is so active when you learn about all the programs hosted at the CKDC. With the purpose of reaching hurting people, restoring families and realizing dreams, the CKDC has the following ministry programs:
LIFE GIVING CENTER serves as a transitional housing shelter for women, with or without children. This shelter offers women an opportunity to get back on their feet by providing room and board, outreach classes, prayer and support — at no cost.
DC KITCHEN provides coffee, juice and a snack starting at 10 a.m. and a hot lunch from 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday each week. This ministry serves approximately 50-70 people per day.
MEN’S AND WOMEN’S DISCIPLESHIP PROGRAMS are both nine-month, Christian-based residential programs that help individuals overcome life-controlling issues. Some might include, but are not limited to, substance abuse, anger, depression and the results of previous mental, physical and sexual abuse. The goal of the program is to reunite participants with their families and provide learning skills to better their future.
KINGDOM KLOSET is a boutique that provides clothing, linens and household items. Anyone can get two sacks of clothes per family member, twice a month, for $1 per bag. Store hours are currently Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
THE ANCHOR provides a mailbox program for individuals who do not have a physical address of their own to be able to get an ID and apply for jobs and other services. They also offer multiple classes to the community on topics including parenting, grief and loss, breaking abusive relationship cycles, overcoming depression, anger management and more.
HE-BREWS COFFEE BAR is in operation at the First Assembly of God Church in Great Bend. CKDC staff and volunteers run the coffee bar, with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the CKDC.
THE MOMENT OF GRACE PREGNANCY CENTER will open in 2020. They will offer free pregnancy tests and sonograms. They hope to be a resource for pregnant women who find themselves in unhealthy situations, as well as a hospice center for newborns needing end of life care. A local doctor and a few nurses will be volunteering and offering their services free of charge.
In addition to those programs, the CKDC also offers the following:
A one-year program for rescued human trafficking victims.
Free Jiu Jitsu classes with Submission Martial Arts on Tuesday nights for adults and children.
Community dinners on Sundays at 5 p.m. These dinners help bring the community together and are sponsored by local organizations.
KIMBERLY BECKER, Director of the Central Kansas Dream Center, said it has been incredible to watch various churches and people of different backgrounds come together to support the CKDC. As a Great Bend native, she originally thought she would serve in a multi-faceted foreign ministry, however she felt a calling and returned home to open the CKDC in July 2013.
The CKDC’s short term goals are to finish the studio apartments in the third floor of the building to house married couples who want to participate in the Discipleship Programs together.
Additionally, they would like to resurface the soup kitchen parking lot to serve as both a parking lot and a basketball court for high-risk youth. Dreaming big, Becker hopes one day the organization will be able to host an after-school program, as well.
Becker reports many Discipleship Program graduates are now business owners, pastors, security technicians, cabinet finishers and the list goes on. She proudly shares that the group of graduates gain such leadership skills throughout the program and she looks forward to really honing in on those qualities and building a program not only for the Discipleship Program participants, but also the community for leadership development.
The major challenge facing CKDC is fundraising. The center receives no state or government funding and is operated entirely with private donations. Staff and volunteers focus on not duplicating fundraising efforts of other area non-profits.
CKDC is excited about the upcoming “Raise the Roof with Praise and Worship” event on Saturday, April 25. The four-hour event will be broadcast on Facebook Live and feature numerous praise and worship bands. The team’s goal is to have 1,000 people donate $100. These funds will go toward their goals of a new roof and remodeling the auditorium and balcony to offer more events to the public in the future.
Another challenge the CKDC Board and volunteers face is educating the community on all the programs and events they offer.
“Seeing peoples’ lives transformed and families restored” are what Becker credits with keeping her motivated.
She offered the story of “Earl,” a regular at the soup kitchen for two years, who occasionally had to be escorted off the property due to behavioral issues. A CKDC staff member challenged Earl to take the anger management classes provided at the center. Now, Earl is in the Discipleship Program and has become almost unrecognizable. His son is proud of him. His own attorney didn’t recognize him because of his physical and emotional transformation. Stories like Earl’s propel the mission of the CKDC forward.
If you are interested in learning more about the CKDC, you can follow them on Facebook or call 620-282-3094 to arrange a tour of the facility. With numerous ways to get involved in their mission, one can volunteer, donate or serve as a community partner.