In 1988, Dallas businessman Jim Sowell was moved by his concern for the problems associated with poverty. He took action in response to the human suffering he observed by working with friends to launch the Central Dallas Food Pantry in a strip shopping center at Henderson and Central Expressway.
In 1990, the organization received status as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and, due to its growth, relocated to larger quarters at 801 N. Peak in East Dallas. In August 1994, current CEO, Larry James, joined the organization and shortly thereafter, Central Dallas Food Pantry began doing business as Central Dallas Ministries and acquired an additional building at 409 N. Haskell.
In October 2010, Central Dallas Ministries changed its name to CitySquare in order to better reflect the commitment to equality, inclusiveness, and recognition that fighting poverty involves bringing the entire community together in the heart of the city.
In November 2014, CitySquare relocated most of its direct services programs, including the food pantry and workforce training department, to its new Opportunity Center–a 53,000 square foot collective impact campus located at the corner of Malcolm X Boulevard and I-30.
Since our humble beginnings in 1988 to present day, CitySquare has grown into a broad community development organization offering a comprehensive array of social services that address four key areas related to the persistence of poverty: hunger, health, housing, and hope. Together, our 22 social service programs provide more than 50,000 human touches in Dallas, Waco, and Paris, Texas.