Nine months ago, we started the process of renovating the Lancaster City Center (a.k.a. the new home of The NET!) by gathering up some friends, including street friends, interns, and even Judge Brent Carr, and ripping up carpet, busting down walls, and tearing up tile. Last weekend, we again gathered some friends and went to sweep, mop, and wipe up all of the construction dust and debris from the last of the renovations. And during those nine months, we’ve already begun building relationships in our new community. We haven’t even fully moved in, but the LCC has already been a blessing to The NET’s work in Fort Worth.
Through this space, we’ve already been able to temporarily employ some of our friends experiencing homelessness, make new friends and grow our family on Lancaster, train volunteers to fight against sexual exploitation in Fort Worth, celebrate women regaining dignity and graduating from the RISE Program, celebrate birthdays and have family meals with our street fam, and educate men on the factors that drive the demand for commercial sex. All this, and we haven’t even moved our furniture in!
As you can see, the LCC is going to change, for the better, the way we do some things around here. No more hauling bins full of cereal and bingo balls from one side of town to the other for Friday mornings. No more cramming four adults into a 12×8 office. No more storing soccer balls and hula hoops in a copy room or a kitchen. Sorry, Paradox people. What I’m saying is, things in The NET’s future are bright! Our staff is growing, and our capacity to serve is growing. God has been faithful to provide us with everything we’ve needed, and now (thanks to the generosity of the City Church and extremely hard work of the president of our board, Matt Hudson) that includes a space to spread out and store our hula hoops out of someone else’s hair. Our wonderful interns, not to mention staff, will even have a desk to work at pretty soon, and trust me, that’s a big deal.
We want the LCC to be a place where people are cared for and loved, darkness is pushed back in Fort Worth, and genuine, meaningful relationships are built. Pray with us that we will see that in the coming months and years! Along with that, come join us! Swing by Bingo on Friday morning or drop by to see our new family room in a couple weeks. Like I said, the future is bright around here, and we want you to be part of it!
Written by Ty Bowden