Journey to Dream’s recent event raised more than $140,000, but the organization still needs to raise about $40,000 in order to continue providing resources for the area’s homeless youth.
“It’s crucial that people to continue to donate even after the event,” said Kimberly Hinkle, founder and CEO of Journey to Dream. “All event funds support the programs and operations of Journey to Dream, including Kyle’s Place.”
Kyle’s Place, the14-bed facility, operates with full time staff. Last month, employees drove nearly 4,000 miles transporting teens and children to medical appointments, school enrollment, work, church and other activities. She said counseling cost up to $420 a week, and “fun outings” for the group can run $500 for a weekend.
“We have seven full-time employees at Kyle’s Place and are adding two more,” Hinkle said. “So the need is great for our community that gave so selflessly to build the shelter to continue to help provide the care and resources our homeless youth need.”
Journey to Dream’s 5th annual Dream Big Gala was presented by Money Matters. It took place Oct. 14 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Lewisville. Hinkle said 360 people attended the event. The keynote speaker was Jimmy Wayne, an award-winning country artist and songwriter, New York Times bestselling author and advocate for foster and homeless children across the country. Wayne shared his story of homelessness and foster care.
“It was truly a beautiful, wonderful event,” Hinkle said. “Our amazing keynote speaker, Jimmy Wayne, captured the audience with his heart wrenching story, leaving many in tears. His book, ‘A Walk to Beautiful,’ is a very real depiction of the reality kids face every day in foster care.”
The event also included a VIP reception sponsored by Rick & Janet Blackstock, dinner, silent and live auction and the inaugural Blue Fuse Realty After Party with music by D.J. Michael Cone, dancing, a Blue Signature drink and casino tables.
“We are grateful for all the support and passion the community has shown for our cause. It has been such a blessing to begin to see homeless youth actually receive basic care: a safe home, a warm bed to sleep in, three meals a day, all while starting school and securing employment,” Hinkle said. “We have an amazing staff that is dedicated to seeing these precious kids, and those to come, succeed.”
Journey to Dream is contracted with LISD to provide prevention programs and support groups to middle schools and high schools. In addition, the nonprofit provides community and homeless groups to Denton County. The Dream Express Christmas outreach is coming up and provides a Shop with Cops opportunity for 50 homeless teens, as well as serving more than 100 individuals in need within in LISD. The nonprofit provides resources to homeless youth in the community and shelter through Kyle’s Place.
Kyle’s Place offers youth a warm bed, three meals a day, basic necessities including school supplies, clothing, medical and dental, case management, individual and group counseling, academic support, life skills training and an opportunity to become healthy and productive adults. Journey to Dream also provides community outreach opportunities for all students that ensure children and teens learn what it means to give back to their community.
The nonprofit serves Denton County for school and homeless programs and Collin and Dallas counties for help and shelter.
Since opening Kyle’s Place, Hinkle said she has seen many achievements. She said teens feel safe, have learned to cook, have set goals and are working hard to find employment and do well in school.
“Our kids are laughing and learning how to manage hard emotions and try new coping skills,” Hinkle said. “These kids just want to feel loved and accepted. They want boundaries and expectations they can meet. They need a second chance with people that believe in them.”
For information visit JourneytoDream.com.