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Dallas firms help ‘re:purpose’ building for nonprofit

March 4, 2015 -  By
From left: A.J. Thibodeaux, CEO of Preservation Tree Service; Mark Childress, maintenance services division manager of Texas Land Care; Wayne Walker, executive director of OurCalling; Dugan Smith, COO of Texas Land Care.

From left: A.J. Thibodeaux, CEO of Preservation Tree Service; Mark Childress, maintenance services division manager of Texas Land Care; Wayne Walker, executive director of OurCalling; Dugan Smith, COO of Texas Land Care. Photo: Jeff Bargas, Texas Land Care

Preservation Tree Services and Texas Land Care, both based in Dallas, are joining forces to help a local nonprofit turn a dilapidated building into its new church.

The nonprofit, OurCalling, visits more than 1,200 locations throughout Dallas to find homeless individuals who don’t qualify or who are resistant to entering a local shelter. The goal of its new church is to minister to the needs of the local residents, including the homeless community.

With privately generated funds, OurCalling recently purchased the aforementioned building in South Dallas. It’s calling the project “re:purpose.” Located between three homeless shelters at 1702 Cesar Chavez Blvd., the building once housed the company that engineered plates for the Dallas Times Herald. It’s since been vacant for the last 20 years.

On March 14, OurCalling will be coordinating more than 70 volunteers to do a cleanup inside and around the building, which has already been used by homeless as a makeshift shelter.  In order to access the property for cleanup and repairs, brush clearing and tree safety issues need to be addressed. That’s where Preservation Tree and Texas Land Care come in.

Dugan Smith, COO of Texas Land Care, originally was put in touch with the project through Work.Love.Give, a nonprofit program that encourages companies to give employees a week off to apply their business acumen to local charities. Smith recruited A.J. Thibodeaux, CEO of Preservation Tree, for extra help with the overgrowth.

Texas Land Care will be addressing weed control issues March 13, prior to the volunteer workday, and making sure the parking lot is clear and accessible for the effort on March 14. Preservation Tree will be taking care of all of the overhead tree work, pruning and removal of hazard trees that can’t be saved. Texas Land Care will be clearing the brush around the building and property line. Both companies also will be on property March 14 to take care of any brush chipping and additional landscape cleanup.

Updated: A previous version of this article inaccurately described the new building as “an outreach center” acting as “a staging facility to help prepare homeless individuals to apply for shelter care.” It has been updated to the more accurate description of “a church” that will “minister to the needs of the local residents, including the homeless community.”

LM Staff

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