Carol A. Ray (CEO and President) founded Gateway Community Outreach (GCO) in April 1995 to address the needs of the hungry and homelessness in the community. Carol also understands that it is about providing a hand up and not a hand out that can deliver a long term solution. The Gateway Mission is to safeguard and protect the most vulnerable community members by providing food, housing assistance, referrals and intensive case management to those in need of emergency aid. Gateway offers compassion and hope during times of personal crisis treating those in need with dignity and respect. They focus on making sure hungry families are adequately fed and they work to prevent homelessness while helping the individuals and families they work with reach self-sufficiency.
Many families collapse into an economic disaster when a terrible circumstance gets out of control. It might begin with a lost job, an injury or a prolonged illness. Maybe it starts with a separation of family members, a fire, or some other damaging disaster. Within weeks, a family that has been “getting by” is suddenly under tremendous financial pressure. Within months, their home may be gone and the family is torn apart. As we have already stated, the real challenge is that of hopelessness. The individual or family may not be able to envision any solution to their plight. This is where organizations like Gateway are so valuable – they help build a path to believe in.
Gateway Community Outreach an Economic Crisis Intervention Program:
Our goal is to step in and help families and individuals get back on their feet to the state of self-sufficiency. One of the unique features of our services is our 90-Day Treatment Plan. When a family or individual comes to Gateway they are assessed to determine their economic and social service needs. The client is placed on a 90-Day Treatment Plan that provides groceries on a weekly or bi-weekly basis in addition to case management services. Case managers meet with clients to ensure that they are taking the appropriate steps to become self-sufficient, which is the true success of our program.
Gateway Community Outreach’s mission has been to actively address the issue of hunger and to safeguard and protect the most vulnerable community members by providing emergency food, counseling, rent/mortgage assistance, referrals and other ancillary services. The goal is to prevent homelessness and help clients reach self-sufficiency. Gateway currently assists over 30,000 clients each year. Through 8 satellite locations they provide food and emergency assistance to prevent homeless through the utilization of our Federal EFSP and Foundation grants. Many of the clients are single mothers and their children, senior citizens, unemployed adults and adults with families who have experienced a crisis.
The organization provides a comprehensive crisis management program, a dedicated staff and nearly 300 volunteers who continuously monitor all intake procedures, tracking performance and computer data input on a weekly basis. Gateway currently operates seven sites throughout Broward County, Florida. Each site is open on select days and one evening. The organization researches adequate resources that would help Gateway to fulfill its mission.
“We have had many success stories of people saying that Gateway Community Outreach has helped them so much in becoming stabilized and productive individuals,” said Carol Ray, president and CEO. “It is great to see how well the program works. We also would not be able to do all that we do without our volunteers. We really do make a difference in our community.”
To find out more about how Gateway Community Outreach helps their local communities, make a contribution or find a successful model on which to pattern your own program visit Gateway at this web address: http://gcoflorida.org/