Operators of a former hospital campus known as the Dream Center expect to receive a $49.7-million grant of federal funds to add more housing to their charitable operations in Echo Park.
The expansion marks a major milestone for the charity, which bought the property for $3.9 million in 1996 and worked since then to build a facility to help impoverished families, troubled youths and victimized women, some of whom might otherwise land in the penal system.
“It feels like we’re finally done,” Executive Director Matthew Barnett said.
The centerpiece of the Dream Center is a 14-story building, which was completed in 1926 by the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart and now towers over the 101 Freeway. Queen of Angels Hospital served the city there until 1989, when a merger moved its operations to the newer Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center.
Nine of the former hospital’s floors have already been converted to housing as part of $25 million worth of previous improvements to the 9-acre campus. The New Markets Tax Credit grant, expected to arrive Monday, will enable the Dream Center to turn the five remaining floors into additional housing for adults in recovery from substance abuse and for families facing homelessness.