Impact Stories

Alendra Lyons

Neighborhood leaders like Alendra Lyons from Mill City are who make DLF’s Neighborhood program possible. She came back to her childhood hometown in 2011 to find streets, once quiet, had been claimed by sellers of drugs and makers of violence. “You live in that community,” Lyons said. “Not the houses, not the trees. It’s you. And if any change is going to happen, you have to be the one to be the driving force of making those changes.”


She formed the neighborhood crime watch, became president of the Mill City Community Association, and demanded that the people who live in Mill City take care of Mill City. She visited with mothers and their school aged children, demanded local police to enforce laws, and organized prayer walks, meet and greets, and trash sweeps. She has helped plant a community garden and teaches nutrition to students who have not had access to healthy food in the past. She has dedicated her life to making the streets of Mill City safe once again.

Over the last decade, DLF has supported Lyons and her efforts through our Neighborhood support program. We write grants to provide financial aid to address Mill City's biggest needs, we help plan cleanup days, and support Lyons in all of her dreams. We let Lyons share her hopes for Mill City and then work to leverage our resources on her behalf. Mill City is transforming, and it is because of courageous leaders like Alendra Lyons.

*Aspects of this story have been obtained from the Dallas Morning News



Jason Akridge

Jason joined DLF’s 18 month transitional home shortly after leaving prison. During his stay, he experienced a structured environment full of encouraging mentors who helped him build a strong foundation for his future. DLF saw potential in Jason, and helped him see a new vision for his life. They taught him job skills, how to become a productive member of society, and how to serve others.

Jason now runs a successful business teaching CPR classes, is a caring father, and loving husband. He credits DLF for giving him the life skills needed to be successful. The 18 months with DLF changed his life, empowering him to do something impactful for his community and his family. 

Hermela Gay

Hermela joined DLF’s youth program as a sophomore in high school. She always felt like an outsider, but in the youth program she was welcomed, loved, and seen. She instantly connected with other students and leaders. For the first time, she found her community. She learned from caring mentors valuable life skills, preparation steps for college, and practical tools for her future. The emotional, spiritual, and practical resources gained, greatly impacted Hermela’s confidence as a future leader.