Behind the Veil: A Bigger Dream, A Bigger Dream Center

The Eastsider L.A. reports on the progress of the Dream Center's renovations --

renovations that will expand the 8.8-acre evangelical compound into a shelter that can house up to 1,200 people. Currently, massive construction tarps veil the project from public view as the renovations take shape. (Weekly tours can be taken on a regular schedule.) The Echo Park center, which uses nearby Angelus Temple for its church services and social events, is pastored by Matthew Barnett. Although Barnett regularly informs congregants of the center's construction progress, apparently it's all news to the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council.

In the beginning: Queen of Angels' 1926 consecration.
(LA Times/UCLA)

Given how touchy neighborhood councils tend to get over the smallest perceived threat to the local quality of life (i.e., an introduction of non-native plants or, perhaps, the controversial positioning of a bus bench), it'll be interesting to see how its members will react to news that the Dream Center will be seeing a whole lot more new faces. The last time the two sides tangled was during a bitter fight over the center's plans to build a parking structure next to Angelus Temple.

Today, behind the tarps.
(The Eastsider L.A.)

From the weekly temple testimonials of people who have stayed at the center,

however, it doesn't figure that the latter's homeless population will be the

same as that of the Midnight Mission. Most of the center's residents appear to be down-on-their

luck individuals or families who have been referred to the church by

others, and remain at the center only long enough to save enough money

to move into regular housing.

A press release

on the center's Web site claims that the original cost projection for

the expansion and renovation "was around $30 million but thanks to

building firms Rovner Construction and Noah Construction they cut down

the cost to around $18 million."

Hmm, wonder what they cut?

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