Downtown's Gateway Center Celebrates Five Years
Five years ago, today, the Gateway Center opened its doors to homeless men, women, and children. What once was a dream has become a reality that is a hallmark of collaboration and community partnership. From the days of Hurricane Katrina to the worst national economic meltdown since the Great Depression, the Gateway Center’s door have been open to those so often overlooked and on the margins of society. It truly is a 24/7 homeless services center.
"The Gateway's celebration of success belongs to the entire community. It has been a gift to thousands who need shelter, encouragement and assistance every day for 5 years" says former Mayor Shirley Franklin. More than 34,000 homeless individuals have received services and participated in programs at the Gateway Center since 27 July 2005. Scores and scores of collaborations and partnerships have deepened and strengthened the services and programs offered to homeless individuals at the Gateway Center.
The volunteer connections are legion and growing with each passing month. Transitional and permanent housing placements have averaged more than 1,450 each year. The Gateway Center has assisted more than 6,000 individuals with employment, job-readiness, and job training in these five years. The Gateway Center is QESST Certified, has been issued a Certificate of Compliance by the Georgia Department of Human Resources, and is noted as a national best practice in the area of collaboration by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. The Gateway Center receives funding directly from the Department of Veteran Affairs, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Georgia Department of Community Affairs, among others. And in each case, has annually passed the necessary inspections and reviews.
In many ways it is hard to image an Atlanta without the Gateway Center. Most of all, the Gateway Center is a place where changed lives is a daily happening. New beginnings. New hope. New perspectives. New life-skills. New jobs. New homes. Such is the life-flow of the Gateway Center. The community offers a big thank you to the extraordinary team at Gateway for their daily commitment to work tasks and responsibilities. Big thank yous also go to the Board of Directors, for untiring service and holding firm to the vision and reality that all people have worth and value, the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta and the Regional Commission on Homelessness for support of the Gateway Center and its mission and work. In reality, these partnerships are the Gateway Center, for each organization gives it life and sustenance in the community effort to end homeless.
To volunteer or find out more information on the Gateway Center please go to www.gatewayctr.org/.