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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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Dallas nonprofit invests $8 million to revive community center, ‘build relationships to create spaces for transformation’


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Behind Every Door Ministry, a Dallas nonprofit, recently purchased a community center and has an $8 million plan to resuscitate it.

The Cedar Crest Community Center closed in 2019 after suffering financial losses. Since then, the Behind Every Door Ministry has taken the reigns for the rest of 2021 to ensure that the facility reopens.

“Behind Every Door runs community centers and builds relationships to create spaces for transformation,” Behind Every Door President Darrion Lewis Sr. wrote in an email. “Cedar Crest is a neighborhood we have known over the last 10 years after working in a nearby apartment complex. We believe our experience, combined with Cedar Crest’s storied past and the community’s leadership, will result in an important new chapter for the neighborhood.”

The $8 million secures the purchase price, renovation and operating expenses of the project. Once completed, Lewis said the community center will be open six days a week and will be organized based on the 5E model: Engagement or knocking on doors to listen, education or literacy and a life-long love of learning, exploration or enrichment activities and career paths, encounter or character development and discipleship and expression or social-emotional learning and counseling.

“That is what we are currently translating by listening and learning from the community,” Lewis said.

Sports will play a big role in the center, as The Cedar Crest Comets are a sports organization from the 1970s. Football, cheerleading,

baseball and basketball will make a return and the center will be introducing lacrosse, soccer and golf.

The 50-year-old building used to be owned by The Salvation Army until the closure. The community center, at 1007 Hutchins Road, comprises eight acres and includes a 20,000-square-foot community center with a basketball court and workout center, a 4,000-square-foot chapel, a football field and a playground.

For Behind Every Door, they hope to bring people in the community together to create impactful relationships as they walk through this journey of life together.

Behind Every Door states that its mission is to “transform lives in underserved neighborhoods by being present daily, believing the best about those who live there and working with other organizations to help inspire and build up the community.”

“Together with our neighbors, we have an opportunity to support a legacy and to invest in the future of a new generation,” Lewis said. “We want every person in the neighborhood, young and old, to understand and recognize their inherent value, that their dreams are important and worth fighting for, and that hope for a better future is something worth clinging to.”

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