In 2002 Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin asked the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta to study and make recommendations regarding homelessness in the city. The United Way organized and supported what has become the Regional Commission on Homelessness with Horace Sibley as its initial Chair. The Commission* produced a Blueprint to End Homelessness in Atlanta in Ten Years.
A major Blueprint recommendation was to establish a central point of access in metro Atlanta to which persons experiencing homelessness could come or be brought to connect with the larger continuum of care in the metropolitan area. . To that end, Commission member Jack Hardin led a team that raised over $6 million, renovated the former Atlanta jail created the Gateway Center, a self-managed 501(c)(3) organization that opened in 2005 as the primary portal to a continuum of care for metro Atlanta’s *chronically homeless individuals.
The United Way Regional Commission on Homelessness remains the core partner of the Gateway Center, which is one of the largest providers of homeless services in the Southeast and has been recognized as a national best practice in the area of community collaboration.
For more information on the United Way Regional Commission on Homelessness, please visit their site: United Way Atlanta – Homelessness.
*The United Way Regional Commission on Homelessness is a collective effort of the City of Atlanta and 7 metro counties to end chronic homelessness in metro Atlanta.
*A chronically homelessness individual is defined as a person with a disability who has either been homeless for more than a year, or has had at least 4 episodes of homelessness in the past 3 years. The disability that results in homelessness may be mental, physical, or addiction-related.
The Board, staff, partners, and volunteers of the Gateway Center are committed to ending homelessness in metro Atlanta through partnerships with like-minded individuals, service agencies, and business, civic, academic and faith-community leaders.
The Gateway Center philosophy rests on the guiding principle that homeless individuals can ultimately achieve permanent housing through their own dedicated efforts combined with a collaborative process built on a foundation of support from a skilled staff, intensive case management, and trained volunteers.
Gateway Center clients commit to programs designed to meet their individual needs — such as mental health support, substance abuse counseling, sustaining employment, or job-readiness and training. Everyone is required to set goals and demonstrate progress towards those goals in order to remain at Gateway.
Our successful track record is rooted in the unwavering commitment of the Gateway Board, staff, volunteers, and partners to our founding principles:
- The worth and dignity of every person in our community
- The inherent value of providers, partners, volunteers, donors, and staff
- Accountability and transparency
- Efficient use of resources
- Approaching solutions with an objective and open point of view
- Achieving measurable, lasting impact