Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Place is important.

History and memory lead us back toward significant places where things occurred, were planned and executed.

Such a place is 409 N. Haskell Avenue (409) here in Dallas, Texas.

In 1994, thanks to the commitment of Jim and Betsy Sowell, along with the support of many of their friends at the Preston Road Church of Christ and from other churches, Central Dallas Food Pantry purchased the property at 409 to accommodate the expansion and growth of the organization. The property had been purchased from the Resolution Trust Corporation at a very good price.

I arrived at Central Dallas Food Pantry just as the remodel began on this new facility. Previously, the organization ran everything from the much smaller building located at 801 N. Peak Street in the same neighborhood (and that is another story to be told at another time!). The new property signaled a new beginning for what soon would be tagged "Central Dallas Ministries."

With the current development of CitySquare's Opportunity Center, the 409 property is now for sale.

As we move on to the next chapter in our history, it seems appropriate to reflect on all that transpired in this special, unique corner here in inner city, Old East Dallas. So, over the next several months (most likely it will take that long!), I'll be telling stories on this page about the events at 409 that have shaped us all and that have led to the transformation of so many lives.

Thinking about this little memory project brings to mind so many key words and tags. Here are a few just for starters. . .
  • Church and Food Pantry
  • Seasoned, burned out volunteers from outside the community
  • Changes in staff leadership and choice
  • Learning the ropes of day-to-day food distribution
  • Memorable trips to the North Texas Food Pantry
  • A truck without brakes
  • Josefina Ortiz
  • Conflict and change
  • Janet Morrison and contemporaries
  • Volunteers who got it
  • Theology of urban renewal
  • Cocaine campground
  • Crack house at the corner
  • Pay phone at Crutcher and Haskell
  • Getting out a newsletter. . .seriously?
  • Jeffie Massey
  • Beyond charity
  • The Christmas Store
  • Dallas Morning News Charities
  • Project Access Dallas
  • The first Kids Kamp
And, the list goes on and on! 

Stay tuned for short stories and vignettes from our past at this very sacred place where community has been breaking out for years now!

1 comment:

Janet Morrison said...

Ahhh...the good ole days! Your list made me chuckle out loud. Let me add my own...

Starsky and Hutch
weekly volunteer meetings
Mr. Glyn and Ms. Ina
God's Grocery Store
morning prayer circles
shifting leadership to the community
Sue many memories...