Serve Denton now has a beating heart – Dale Kimble

How blessed we are when our dreams and visions become a reality. Serve Denton now has a beating heart and a new home. Thirty-seven years ago, several community leaders, including Denton Mayor Elinor Hughes, had an idea that they believed would make a significant difference in the lives of the less fortunate within our community. It was the 1970s and Mayor Hughes publically articulated a Master Plan for Social Service.

What if multiple nonprofits resided under one roof making it easier for people in poverty to receive the help they need? The concept has been revived through the years including in 2002 with the Denton Assistance Center.

This was such a noble idea, but unfortunately, with no land and building, there seemed to be little hope of success.

In 2011, 35 years after the vision was conceived, Denton Bible Church breathed new life into the dream. The church was expanding and pondered the question about what to do with their old property and buildings consisting of 16 acres and 50,000 square feet of vacant space.

The donation of their property, much prayer and the commitment of business leaders, area churches and concerned citizens resulted in the birth of Serve Denton. The dream now breathes and has a heartbeat.

As a community, we have people living among us in desperate need of life’s basic necessities including shelter, food, clothing and medical care. Helping them to live with greater hope and dignity and making it easier to find the help they need is why Serve Denton exists.

In helping nonprofits assist the poor through one single location, Serve Denton will save countless hours for every person who is in need and overwhelmed by the stress of their situation.

The location of multiple health, housing and human services under one roof also saves significant dollars for nonprofits. This savings results in more dollars going back into the hands of those who need it most — our impoverished.

I, along with our board of 35 local leaders, am deeply humbled by the amazing support of this community.

Many organizations including Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis and local churches as well as caring citizens and community leaders have helped to make this dream come true.

While we still have funds to raise, construction and work to do before the vision is fully realized, we are well into this incredible journey to improve lives.

Simply put, we’re almost there. We deeply thank everyone involved for their patience and steadfast support.

Serve Denton now has a signed a 20-year lease, with two 10-year extension periods, to locate nonprofits, which provide direct services to needy clients, on a single campus. The plan is to sub-lease building space to the nonprofits for $1 a year while they share costs for utilities and maintenance.

We again thank the Denton Bible Church for its generosity and are happy to report that more than 30 agencies have filed paperwork of interest to move into the central facility.

Our expectation is for our first tenants to relocate in early 2014. We are extremely pleased that we are now standing on our own merit.

Serve Denton exemplifies a community caring for its own needs. We are confident that this investment in a centralized nonprofit facility will ensure the long-term stability of our nonprofit community and make Denton County a stronger, better place to live.

Serve Denton is excited to celebrate the upcoming move of our nonprofit partners. Together, we will brighten the lives of those in need and our entire community.