Over the course of 10 years, anything is possible. Over the course of 10 years, a baby goes from speaking their first words to expressing their own opinions through speech and writing, a youth transforms from learning pre-Algebra to obtaining a college degree, an adult changes jobs 3 times while having 3 children of their own. Over the course of 10 years, people, organizations, and communities transform through growth to achieve their aspirations and dreams. Over the course of 10 years, Dreams for Change progressed from a concept to a thriving organization making lasting impacts.
Over the past 10 years, I have had the privilege of experiencing something magical through the development and growth of Dreams for Change. We started with a small idea of using a parking lot at night as a space for families and individuals experiencing homelessness can find refuge and community. Within a month of opening the first site, every spot was filled, and I knew we were on to something great. Over the course of the 10 years, Dreams for Change developed a team of passionate employees, interns and volunteers dedicated to bringing hope to families experiencing homelessness, to bridging employment opportunities for individuals who are unable to obtain a job, to providing meals to those who are hungry, to helping someone start to build financial stability through savings and tax credits. Over the course of the 10 years, we were met with challenges and adversity from finding suitable locations for Safe Parking to holding systems accountable so our clients can get the resources and services they deserve. Dreams for Change remained relentless and persevered through these challenges to touch over 33,000 individuals across San Diego County.
Over the next 10 years, anything is possible. Can we reduce homelessness to the point no one has to live in their vehicle? Can we ensure that anyone who wants to work can find employment with the right support to be successful in that employment? Can we help ensure no one has to choose between eating or paying rent? Can we eliminate the $20 million gap in unclaimed tax credits for low-income working families and individuals? Over the next 10 years, YES, we can. We will continue to listen to members of our communities, activate communities into action, and respond with the compassion and innovativeness that sets apart Dreams for Change from other providers. We are excited to take this journey and honored to continue to provide quality services across the community.
Over the next 10 years, everything is possible.
Teresa Smith, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer