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It starts with being in a safe and nurturing place. An environment where healthy relationships can be modeled, practiced, and grown; taken back home; and shared with the community at large.

Trust:  The Ripple Effect

There are concentric circles of community at Gateway: 

Home, the place where our youth live. The community they form with each other, mentors, teachers and therapists as they learn to trust each other and form healthy relationships. And the community outside our doors – the larger community, rich with opportunities for activity and service. Trust is built circle by circle, rippling out as students grow in confidence and skill.

Safe and Nurturing

Community at Gateway begins in intentionally small home-like environments that foster a safe and nurturing ambiance. A place where youth can feel secure enough to try on new life skills and responsibilities, supported by the guidance of our dedicated staff. At Gateway, each individual has a voice and daily opportunity to contribute to their community though entertaining activities, creative projects, cooking and chores.

 “Many of the youth who come to Gateway have low self-esteem. My job, in part, is to personally connect with each young person, and through our relationship, help them see and believe in their potential. By the time they leave, they can see a future filled with opportunity. I love playing a role in that transformation."

—Rebecca Garfield, A.P.C., Executive Director

A Sense of Belonging

Within our walls, the youth also learn to trust and form healthy relationships with their therapists, teachers, staff and each other.  We model and teach respect for different cultures, attitudes and interests. Each teen holds a place in our community they alone can fulfill, and when they come to see how they fit in and are valued, they feel part of the larger whole. It’s this sense of belonging and value that provides the foundation they can take home and extend to wider circles:  Within a new school. New friendships. And in society as a whole.

The Larger Community

As our youth progress in our program, their experience extends to the community beyond our academy. Through service projects, volunteer work, and activities as a group, students apply the lessons they’ve learned at Gateway to real-life situations and experiences.  As anyone knows who has volunteered, helping others is a double gift:  good for the giver and good for the beneficiary.