Behind Every Door Opens Cedar Crest Community Center in Southern Dallas, and a New Bank Is Part of the Plan

Dallas nonprofit Behind Every Door Ministries purchased a faded, 50-year-old community center from the Salvation Army in partnership with Veritex Community Bank, the Dallas Cowboys, the NFL Foundation, local pro golfers Jordan Spieth and Scottie Scheffler, and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw. A $15 million capital campaign has led to a revitalized community hub for Southern Dallas.

When the nonprofit Behind Every Door Ministries bought the Cedar Crest Community Center from the Salvation Army, the 50-year-old center needed work—and lots of it. Thanks to a $15 million capital campaign launched in 2021, doors opened last week on more than just beautifully upgraded buildings, ball fields, and a gym. The center is poised to be an essential hub for the Southern Dallas community’s physical and mental health, fitness, afterschool programs, STEM learning, and more.

And starting Friday with the official opening of a Veritex Community Bank branch at the center, financial literacy programs and services for underbanked area residents will be part of the Cedar Crest story, too.

Behind Every Door purchased the center for the revitalization project in partnership with Veritex Community Bank, the Dallas Cowboys, the NFL Foundation, local pro golfers Jordan Spieth and Scottie Scheffler, and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

The renovated Cedar Crest Community Center opened its doors on April 1, 2024. [Video still: Behind Every Door]

The eight-acre property at 1007 Hutchins Road includes a 20,000-square-foot community center, a 4,000-square-foot church building, several first-class sports facilities, and a long list of community service offerings. The center is surrounded by more than 17,000 neighbors, including 1,000 teens and kids attending schools within a quarter mile.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the center in January, leading up to the April 1 full-service opening. The new center joins two other community centers in Dallas that are currently managed by Behind Every Door. 

$12M of $15M raised

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Cedar Crest Community Center was held in January. [Photo: Behind Every Door]

Founded in 2009, Behind Every Door has a mission of running community centers “to help people discover their purpose and gifts, nurture those, and find a path from circumstantial despair to hope.” To date, the organization says it has raised $12 million of its $15 million capital campaign for the newly opened Cedar Crest center.

“This new community center is a response to the desperation many suffer from in our neighborhoods,” Behind Every Door President and CEO Darrion Lewis said in a statement. “Behind Every Door is dedicated to building pathways of hope through centers like this, to help people experience the fullness of God’s potential in themselves individually and as a community.”

[Video still: Behind Every Door]

Led by Behind Every Door, Dallas-based KDC joined with Corgan, Kimley Horn, Balfour Beatty, and Jordan Skala to complete the planning and construction of the 50-year-old facility.

“KDC remains committed to using our build-to-suit skills to assist nonprofits in creating facilities that serve the local community and make the world a better place,” CEO Steve Van Amburgh said in a statement. “The Cedar Crest Community Center is an essential part of its community, and we were very pleased to see it restored for generations to come.”

$10M in tax credits financing provided by city fund

The Dallas Development Fund, a city-related nonprofit, provided $10 million in New Markets Tax Credits financing to support the project, ensuring its viability, according to a Dallas Economic Development statement. “Due to inflation and an unforeseen requirement for stormwater site work, the budget increased to a total of $15.7 million, but with the NMTC subsidy, the scope of work remained intact, preserving the diverse range of services offered,” the city said.

Partnering with the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks partnered on Cedar Crest’s full-court basketball gym. [Video still: Behind Every Door]

The community center will feature “a variety of amenities designed to promote health, wellness, and community engagement,” the nonprofit said. The center’s state-of-the-art fitness facilities were created in partnership with the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Mavericks Foundation, as you can see from the photos of the center’s first-class football field and Mavs-branded basketball gym. The full-court gym above can host two youth basketball games simultaneously, the nonprofit says. 

Other sports-related amenities include a soccer field, a baseball field, a fitness room, and locker room facilities.

Behind Every Door President and CEO Darrion Lewis speaking at the Cedar Crest Community Center ribbon-cutting ceremony in January. [Photo: Behind Every Door]

Health clinic, afterschool programs, meeting space, and more

The renovated and upgraded center also features a nonprofit Lightpath Health clinic offering health screenings. There are also mental health services, multipurpose rooms for community meetings and events, prayer and worship space, afterschool programming, and more.

“This center will be a catalyst for health, hope, and change in the community,” Behind Every Door said.

Veritex Bank branch opens Friday

One last addition to the community center will be a Veritex Community Bank branch, which will have its official grand opening this Friday, April 12, at 8:30 a.m. The community is invited to take part in the opening event.

“The proximity of this fully accessible bank with a 24-7 ATM to the community will help individuals plan for the future and build financial stability,” Behind Every Door said.

A new baseball diamond at the Cedar Crest Community Center. [Video still: Behind Every Door]

Seeking to change ‘the narrative about and experience of poverty’

Behind Every Door says it partners with the community to create and run “intentional programming” from its centers—working with all ages, from bingo events for seniors to sports programs and leagues to out-of-school programs for school-age children.

“Our biggest focus is on children and youth with programming taking place on weekdays after school,” the nonprofit said in a statement. “We seek to change both the narrative about poverty and the experience of poverty. We all have beliefs, spoken or unspoken, conscious, or unconscious surrounding poverty.”

Besides what’s noted above, the center’s services include everything from homework and reading help to college prep, resume writing, family game nights, coaching and volunteer opportunities, mentorship, and more.

To learn more about the center, you can go here.

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