61. Ryan built a dream in a West Nashville neighborhood.

Ryan Bult built a dream. It is funny to say it that way but it’s true.

He didn’t set out to build it. It was an extension of his living. He hung out with people who were struggling. He cared about them. So he built them something. A “dream center.” Literally a building where people could gather and socialize and serve and study and dream.

But the organization–literally the West Nashville Dream Center–was never meant to be a brick and mortar place as much as it was meant to be an assembly of people.

Ryan chose as his address the Preston Taylor neighborhood, one of Nashville’s notorious gang neighborhoods. And Ryan made sure that he lived outside in the neighborhood with the new friends he said he served beside.

At least once a week Ryan walked the neighborhood picking up rubbish, usually taking along a collection of young people from the neighborhood. It was both a way to exhibit how a person can care for their own neighborhood–Ryan teaches by example more than words–as well as his pretext for casually meeting neighbors.

Here Jimmy Jensen and his daughters Rose and Tori join Ryan and others in the parking lot of the Dream Center to pray before walking through the neighborhood.

Here Ryan, at left, speaks to Dream Center staff during a weekly food distribution.

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