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Dream Center aims to offer help and hope in Shoals region

Dream Center

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — A new facility in northwest Alabama has opened with the aim of reducing poverty and its effects on families.

The Shoals Dream Center is envisioned as a hub for an array of services to aid the area's families, The TimesDaily reported.

Among them: Providing food; academic tutoring and mentoring for at-risk kids. The center also plans to offer addiction recovery resources and life skills training.

The Shoals Dream Center is an extension of the Chapel church.

"God gave us this location for the purpose of helping people find hope for today and dreams for the future," Chapel Pastor Bobby Gourley said at a recent ribbon cutting.

"This center is about helping people to move out of the poverty cycle, changing that generational tree," Gourley added. "It's about giving people a hand up, not a hand out."

The social services components will offer after-school programs where students can engage in learning and developmental training, activities and games three days per week, said Toyia Gourley, the director of the Dream Center Academy.

The food distribution is set up in the style of a supermarket, allowing clients the opportunity to shop for items their family needs, the newspaper reported.

The Gourleys came to the Chapel in 2014 after moving to Alabama from Tennessee and their home church, Cornerstone Nashville.

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