Operators of a former hospital campus known as the Dream Center will see their own dreams realized, with a $49.7 million federal grant to add more housing to their charitable operations in Echo Park, City News Service reported.
The expansion marks a major milestone for the charity, which purchased the former Queen of Angels Hospital for $3.9 million in 1996 and has worked since then to build a facility to help impoverished families, troubled youths and victimized women, some of whom might otherwise land in the penal system, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The centerpiece of the Dream Center is a 14-story building that was completed in 1926 and towers over the 101 Freeway. Queen of Angels served the city until 1989, when its operations were moved to the newer Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in a merger.
Nine of the former hospital's floors have already been converted to housing as part of $25 million worth of previous improvements to the 9-acre campus,
This New Markets Tax Credit grant will enable the Dream Center to turn the five remaining floors into additional housing for adults in recovery from substance abuse and families facing homelessness.
Improvements should be completed by March, Executive Director Matthew Barnett told The Times, and raise the number of residents at the Dream Center to more than 900 from 650. Among those served are emancipated minors and young female victims of human trafficking.