Dream Center Bismarck to open, hold open house Sunday | Local news for Bismarck-Mandan, North Dakota

A multimillion dollar nonprofit center is opening in Bismarck this weekend, and giving the community a peek at what it has to offer.

Dream Center Bismarck is holding an open house from 3-6 p.m. Sunday at its facility at 1805 Park Ave.

Officials broke ground last April on the 24,000-square-foot, $3.1 million building. It was funded through capital campaigns as well as through individual and corporate donations. A private ribbon-cutting is scheduled May 4.

Cindy Barnhardt, whose husband, Jim, is the founder of the project, said he woke up one day several years ago with what she called a vision. It was to have a seven-day-a-week free meal and provide free services for people in need.


Cindy Barnhardt

Tom Stromme

She and her husband a few years ago took part in a trip to Los Angeles, where they helped the original Dream Center with food distribution in impoverished areas of the city. Jim later launched the Adopt-a-Block program, which brings truckloads of food to neighborhoods six days a week.

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The ground floor of the Dream Center is home to warehouse space for Adopt-a-Block as well as a kitchen and dining area for The Banquet, an organization that provides a free meal several times a week to those in need.

The kitchen and dining room are specifically for The Banquet, which leases the space for $1 from the Dream Center. The dining room is named Trinity Hall, in honor of Trinity Lutheran Church, which helped found The Banquet.


Karla Eisenbeisz, director of The Banquet Community Meal, in the new Dream Center Bismarck dining area named Trinity Hall.

Tom Stromme

The dining room has high ceilings and windows that let in plenty of natural light. Barnhardt said the building was constructed in such a way to capitalize on the light.

When people are done eating, they can exit into the food pantry, where they can get dry goods as well as items such as dairy and produce.

“We really feel that if people have what they need, they can spend their money on things they might be missing, like gas or rent,” Barnhardt said.

The center also has a chapel that’s open for any Christian church to use, and includes an office for pastors to have private conversations with visitors.

The ground floor lobby doors will remain unlocked for people who need to escape the elements or use the restroom, Barnhardt said.

The second floor houses office space for the Dream Center as well as for other nonprofits to use for things such as health screenings or legal aid. There’s also a conference room that organizations can book.


Cindy Barnhardt, shown in the events space of Dream Center Bismarck, says it will be available for community groups to rent.

Tom Stromme

Much of the top floor is set aside to be used as an event space, with plenty of seating and a nearby coffee bar. Fees to rent the event space will be used to help fund the Dream Center, Barnhardt said. Staffing for events will be on a volunteer basis. The Dream Center itself will have only one employee, an administrative director.

At Sunday’s open house, The Banquet will serve free hot dogs and hamburgers, and the Dream Center’s coffee bar will serve free drinks. There will also be art projects and face painting, and Northland Health Clinic will offer free health screenings. Tours will be available to the community. Bismarck Mayor Steve Bakken and U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. will give remarks.

For more information, go to https://www.dreamcenterbismarck.org/.

Reach Sam Nelson at 701-250-8264 or [email protected]

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