Oxnard Dream Center to open Women Transitional Home in El RioJuly 8, 2015 • By Citizen Reporter
By Michael Hernandez
EL RIO—A 38-year-old former drug and alcohol addict and victim of sexual abuse is transforming lives through the Oxnard Dream Center which in its second year of operation is opening a transitional home in July in El Rio.
Richard Linares, a high school dropout born in Phoenix, Arizona, is living out a promise made to God, “I promised God, that if He changed my life, I would forever serve Him and let people know what the Lord did for me.”
The Oxnard Dream Center’s purpose “is to build a community of resilient people whose lies have been redeemed by God’s love,” said Linares. “The lives that change are not merely examples of God’s power to restore broken lives. The men, women and families we help also go on to share that love with others, to pass on the hope they have been given and to make transformation possible for others.”
The Oxnard Dream Center President and CEO said “methamphetamine and crack cocaine took a toll on my life along with several other life controlling addictions.” Linares said, “I found myself looking into a mirror of my apartment and asking ‘is this what life is all about?’”
“I was praying for a place that would be open 24/7 to minister,” said Linares. “I realized that I could no longer live the way I was living or I was gonna die. I also realized I was created for a purpose and had a longing to know God and believe in Jesus Christ.”
See what they have done already HERE (pics)
Linares left Mesa, Arizona where he was living to arrive at the Los Angeles Dream Center in 2003 to enter the free one year Dream Center Discipleship Program where he was for six years. When he graduated, he continued to serve at the Los Angeles Dream Center and attended Angelus Bible Institute.
“The Los Angeles Dream Center gave me leadership positions and I learned how to create and develop programs. I learned about community outreach and social services, case management, mentorship and how to network with other nonprofits and obtain legal assistance. “
Linares said, “It was this work experience that got me a job with Interface Children and Family Services” which today serves over 26,000 individuals annually that are struggling to manage crises created by substance abuse and has a 90-member staff.
“The Los Angeles Dream Center took me in when I had nothing. I had no purpose and no hope. I was loved until I could start to dream again.” Now, Linares is working to assist Oxnard residents to “dream again” through community outreach and transitional
“The face of homelessness now includes families, senior and veterans. Nationwide, as many as one in four homeless once served in the military. Today, 1 of 45 children are homeless, the most ever in American history,” said Linares.
The Oxnard Dream Center—which has administrative offices at the Church For The Nations (an Oxnard Foursquare church at 270 West 5th Street under the leadership of Senior Pastor David Moore and where Linares serves as Spanish minister) is filing paperwork for its non-profit exempt status and has a seven member board of directors.
Other transitional homes for men and women only, veterans and youth are being planned as well as the opening of a residential recovery home for adult survivors of domestic human trafficking.
“There are over 300,000 victims of sex trafficking in the United States,” said Linares. “Some 80 percent are female and 50 percent are under 18 years of age—the average age is 13. Currently, 99 percent are never rescued.”
The Oxnard Dream Center recruits volunteers to go door-to-door on the second and fourth Saturdays asking the question “how can we help” in an Adopt A Block community outreach. Another outreach is named “Loads of Love” which is where once a month volunteers go to a local Laundromat and provide quarters for washing, detergents and some treats for those struggling financially.
“I have had a revelation that my life has to be lived with purpose,” said Linares. “I only have one life to live and I want it to count. I lived a destructive life of drugs and alcohol for so many years. I have now been given a second opportunity. Today, I am being called to trust the Lord. Slowly and surely, things are coming to pass.”
Editor’s Note: Those wishing to donate to the Oxnard Dream Center or contact Richard Linares can call (213) 435-8173 or email [email protected] Those wishing to leave a message for the Women El Rio transitional home can call (805) 919-0508. Churches or ministries desiring local news coverage can contact Michael Hernandez, a co-founder of the Citizens Journal and a former daily newspaper religion and news editor [email protected] or call (818) 263-9881.
Those wishing to contact Michael Hernandez, a co-founder of the Citizens Journal and a former daily newspaper religion and news editor can email [email protected] or call (805)380-6935 to RSVP for events or to share your story about “engaging culture” or “fighting for religious freedom.”
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